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We're all awkward now, re-entry anxiety, and the power of persistence
Episode 1125th June 2021 • Careers & Coffee • Corridor Careers
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Are you socially awkward after a year of isolation? So is everyone. In this podcast, Dan & Liz chat about the benefits of work, the anxiety we're all feeling and how to overcome that state of overwhelm in your job search.

Show notes:

Upcoming career fairs: https://www.corridorcareers.com/events

Transcripts

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All right. Good morning, everybody. Good morning, Liz.

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Morning.

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Careers and coffee. This is episode number 11. I had to look

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that up, but

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we're so great at this now.

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Experienced podcasters youtubers cool well, by being used today

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less. Yeah. Guess what? September 16 we're going back to

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having a career fair.

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Career Fair. Oh, I pointed the wrong way.

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So, so special announcement. Yeah, we are having a career

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week and that entire week 13th through the 16th culminating

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with an in person career fair at New York City Market. Downtown

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Cedar Rapids, Ningbo district in conjunction with Meet me at the

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market Thursday night at Ningbo City Market.

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Yeah, so you could hop on a veo, and get yourself to the career

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fair

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and do some yoga and hang out and get some food. And yeah, so

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I'm ready. I'm excited. Absolutely. 330 to 630. Thursday

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night, I know we're still what to tune last months away. Yes,

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three months away. But we're excited. We're expecting up to

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30 employers, hopefully, I know, we've already got a few lined up

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and many more to come. So we're, we're pumped up for that.

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Yeah, I would say the employers are very excited to have an in

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person career fair. So I think it's a win win. And hopefully

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you have a job by September and you don't even need to come to

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our career fair. But it's going to be a really great way to kind

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of mix with employers and the the excitement that is new Bo

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and just get a sense of what's out there. So maybe you're

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thinking "Oh, actually, I'm not going to return to work until

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the fall, and my kids are back in school." September 16, is a

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little bit after that. So you have time to get people kind of

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settled into routines at that point. So it's really going to

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be a good time. And career week is all about getting you prepped

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for that day in person of, you know, refining your resume and

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talking up your, you know, interview skills and maybe just

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working over your elevator pitch and, and some of those things,

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and we had some good feedback from job seekers who attended

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the spring career week, that was just virtual, about how it kind

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of helped them kind of get a focus when they were doing their

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job search. So hope will do the same for you.

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Yeah, absolutely. And, well, we'll put links to where you can

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go sign up actually, for career week, if you're interested in

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doing that already. I know we've already had several people sign

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up and say they want to attend. And I just want to say real

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quick, there's a reason why we ask people to sign up and we

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capture email addresses and names. And it's because the

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employers that attend, they want to let they want to they want

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resumes they they want a list of people that were there. And so

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it's kind of mutually beneficial, right, you as a job

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seeker. Want to get your resume in front of all these employers,

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they're at the career fair looking for people hungry to

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work. So that's the reason why we ask people to sign up. If you

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don't do it on our website, where and we'll put a link in

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the show notes here. You can sign up the day of the event.

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And everyone that does sign up is in and shows up to career

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week or career fair like in person will be in the running

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for $50 amazon gift card. So just a little sweeten the deal.

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there.

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Fifty bucks? That'll go a long ways on Amazon. That's a lot of

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coffee.

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It depends if you have prime or not - for me $50 doesn't go very

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far, but

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alright, cool. Well, that's enough about career week/ career

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fair. We just want to touch briefly today on unemployment.

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And, you know, obviously, you know, right now we're in late

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June of 2021. We have a lot of people that haven't returned to

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the workforce yet kind of post COVID maybe you bought they lost

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their job or you came on employed sometime in 2020. And

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then just, you know, for whatever reason, everybody's

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situation is kind of different, but not returned to the

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workforce yet. Maybe are holding out looking for that right job

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or, you know, waiting for the job industry that they work in

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to pick back up a little bit more. So, we just wanted to

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touch on, you know, some of some of the benefits and

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opportunities When going back to work and having a job. And so

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aside from just having a regular paycheck, I have a few of these

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pulled up on my other monitor right now. But let's I want to,

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I want to get your thoughts on having the number two thing they

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say aside from a regular paycheck as a benefit is a sense

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of identity. Yeah, so I want to get your thoughts on having a

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sense of identity with what you do in your job.

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That's definitely something that when you lose a job you feel a

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loss of is a sense of identity. So sometimes the the sense of

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identity that comes with a job isn't something you notice until

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it's gone. And I think the main thing there is that it's the

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recognition that you get from working somewhere with that

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exchange of money, you're so you're getting paid to, to

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perform a service of some kind. That exchange, just the simple

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exchange that's happening there, tells yourself like

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subconsciously, that you have a value. And everyone has a value,

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whether they're working or not. So I'm not, I'm not trying to

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make a statement about your value. It's just, it's just

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something that automatically comes with working. That, that

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you have to actually if you're let's say you're a stay at home

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parent, you have to kind of like artificially create that sense

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of identity through your work as a stay at home parent, but it

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just kind of comes naturally when someone is actually paying

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you to show up because you're not getting that appreciation.

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And thanks for your family for showing up every day. Maybe you

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aren't maybe you haven't really special.

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Yeah, so yeah, I think that's definitely true. I think it can

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go the wrong way. Sometimes when you over identify with your job,

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and then all of a sudden, because of structural changes,

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or because of the economy or because the way business went,

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all of a sudden, you're out of that role. And then you feel

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this loss of like, Okay, well, who am I? So, I would just

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caution against tying yourself too closely to that job, but it

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is definitely a benefit to having a job.

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Yeah, absolutely. And glancing down this list a little bit

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further. And this, this kind of ties in with that, especially if

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what you brought up is having a work life balance? Could you

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expand on the importance of having a little bit of a

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balance, maybe between what you do at work and what you do away

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from work? Yeah, well, this,

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This is also a tricky one, why you asking me all these hard

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questions, Dan? Um, there is I don't know if there is such a

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thing as total work life balance, because you know, your,

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your sacrifice, you're making sacrifices every day for one or

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the other, your life or your job. But if you don't have

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enough money to eat, then you're sacrificing that that need, you

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know, so I think work life balance, can, you know, if you

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aren't working, and you could get over, you could over and I

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don't know how to say this, you can get overwhelmed with the

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sense of, you know, the freedom that you have, or all the

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different things that you could potentially do, and

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inadvertently create roadblocks for yourself. But when you have

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the structure of work, it puts things into perspective. And

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like, Okay, well, I only have so much time outside of my

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schedule, to accomplish my life goals. And so I'm going to need

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to be aggressive with those goals to make them happen. I

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can't just wait for them to happen. So I guess, because

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there's a box there. It might help with, with a little bit of

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structure. That when it said, Did I that I hit the mark?

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I don't know. Well, yeah. I mean, there's nothing here. It

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just gives me bullet points. But yeah, no, I completely agree

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with you. I think you touched on a couple things in both of those

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points, the sense of identity. Maybe not like I think these are

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both very intertwined, right. So it's like a sense of identity

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thing. If you identify yourself as your job. I mean, we're in

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you work, work, work, work, work. And then you don't have

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that. You can definitely feel that loss, like you mentioned.

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But then you also maybe didn't have great work life balance to

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begin with. And you know, at any at any given time, like you

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mentioned, maybe work needs a little more effort. Maybe your

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life away from work needs a little more effort. So I agree.

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Like there's there's definitely a pole probably at all times in

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your work life balance. But those two things are very

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closely are intertwined in my mind.

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Yeah. If If you come to the end of your work day, and you have

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no brain power, and you have nothing left to give, and you

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show up at home, and you know, that's not satisfying either. So

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there's the you just have to figure out how to manage your

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time and say no to some of those pressures that come at you

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throughout the day. And likewise, in your home life, the

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same thing applies. And so just having that sense of

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responsibility to a job, will help sometimes help set those

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priorities. We did have a recent story in the Gazette, which I

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thought was kind of interesting. And I think it might I don't

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know, I related to it a little bit. It was talking about re

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entry anxiety, of terror tourists re entering the

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workforce, or maybe even those working from home. Being, you

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know, told basically, to report back to work now. Okay, next

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over, you know, and I just thought it was kind of

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interesting. Have you have you ever had a question for you,

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Dan, I mean, if you felt this level of reentry anxiety, I

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know, because that isn't back yet. But we are gonna be heading

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back there in the fall.

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Definitely, yeah, um, you know, working from home for so long,

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and I live alone as well. So, you know, last year, for

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majority of maybe the last 15 months, I didn't, I would go

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sometimes days with kind of just seeing myself, except for maybe,

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you know, getting outside and going for a walk or something

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and seeing some people on the sidewalk. So, I've definitely

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felt a little bit of this re entry anxiety. I ran into

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somebody yesterday that I hadn't seen in a couple years. And I

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was like, I was trying to have a conversation with them. And I

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was like, man, I really have become a little socially

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awkward, a little socially awkward, but, you know, it was

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just, you know, we weren't quite sure, like how far to stand away

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from each other, you know, as somebody that I hadn't seen in a

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while. And so, yeah, it definitely was like social

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events. And I know, on Monday, we had a team meeting down at

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our office, and just five of us. And I thought that was an

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amazing experience. Because we hadn't had an in person meeting,

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or ever tell you what it was. I thought it was really good. to

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actually get off, get off of the computer, get off the zoom,

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zoom, zoom was great. But you know, it was good to get back in

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person and see some faces and be around people.

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It was interesting, too, because we've been on zoom for over a

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year. And in our meeting, we were able to have two

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conversations going on at the same time, which potentially is

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a problem, like we should really all be in the same conversation

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and not have them. But it's just funny, because like that could

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never happen over zoom, because you wouldn't be able to

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understand the other person because of microphones and ta

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No, and the camera and all that stuff. And yeah. So there's

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definitely that I feel that re entry anxiety still, even though

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I have a job. And so I just wonder it must be difficult for

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job seekers who haven't been working for some time, or maybe

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they have not been seeking a job for some time and are now

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starting to get ready to to seek a job for the first time in a

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while. So there's that gap. And like you said, social

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awkwardness is set in for everyone, and all those layers

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on top. So I think there are many challenges jobseekers are

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facing right now. It's not black and white, you know, like, Well,

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you know, if you listen to the news, sometimes they'll say,

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Well, if people just would work, you know, we'd be better off.

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And it's like, well, it's not that simple. Like there are a

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lot of complicated factors that go into whether someone is

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seeking work at any given time. And I don't know what the

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solution is. But I think I think just setting small steps for

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yourself, if you're going to go on that path of reentry to the

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workforce. Maybe the first step is just looking at it

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application like what are the things that they're asking for

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in the application, maybe you're not even actually going to hit

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Apply today. But maybe just click that apply now button,

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just to see what is the very next step of the application

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process because sometimes it's upload a resume. Sometimes it's

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create an account. Sometimes it's read this giant PDF and put

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all the information in there. It's there's not great uniform

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ways. that people can get jobs now.

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Yeah, it's not a one size fits all applying for a job. Yeah.

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Well, I want to hit on just one more thing. And I know we've

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talked a little longer today maybe than we were expecting to.

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But I do want to go back a couple couple weeks now we

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attended entree Fest, oh, yeah, conference, downtown Cedar

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Rapids. And I attended virtually, I think you did in

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person, but we are our keynote speaker. His name is Marcus is

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formerly incarcerated. And he talked about his path to finding

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a job. I don't, I think this holds true for anybody looking

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for a job. But he said he got turned down 41 times. And on his

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42nd job application, he was an accepted and got a job at a

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paint store. And he kind of talked about his story and how

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you relate that into starting his own business. And, you know,

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now he's, you know, working full time on his own business. But I

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thought it was a really interesting story. And it kind

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of what resonated to me was kind of strength and numbers, right?

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Like, how do you have the ability to get turned down? 41

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times, right, like, yeah, and then on that 42nd, try, you get

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it. And that's just, that's persistence and patience.

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Well think about what actors go through, right? Like, they get

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turned down all the time throughout their career, and

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they continue to try. And that's just persistence there. You

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know, persistence is key. And one of the really cool things

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about Marcus's story was that and we'll share, if there's a

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link to the entree Fest, keynote, you should definitely

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watch it because it was really inspiring for all of us. But the

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thing is, he used that job opportunity as a springboard for

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his life. And there's, is there something unique and amazing

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about clerkin? paint store, he's just selling paint, right? Like

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there was a very kind of simple job that he was doing. But he

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did it with such joy and passion, that people flocked to

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him wanting to buy paint from him. And then it turned into

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this kind of, oh, maybe there's something there, maybe I've got

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something here. And he became a connector from between

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contractors and people wanting to, you know, homeowners wanting

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to have someone else paint and actually want to paint. And so

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he was able to make that connection there and then built

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the business off of that, and then became an entrepreneur

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after that. So that treating that next job, like your first

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job, it could be, it could be something really interesting for

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you, you know, just come at it with a different perspective.

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And if you've been working for a while then out of work, it may,

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you may feel a lot of like mental blocks about re entering

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the workforce. And you may come to a job interview with a lot of

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baggage. But if you could maybe just flip it so that you're

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treating that job opportunity as potentially your your first job,

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just treat it like your first job. You could come at it with a

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renewed sense of potential that is going to speak to an employer

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in a way that is not going to if you bring all that other Well,

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you should hire me because I've got all this experience or you

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know, I've been doing this for however long.

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They are. Absolutely. And just the I loved the you know, the I

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think the interesting thing is, it could have been a paint

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store. It could have been a Yeah. Who knows a furniture

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store could have been and the thing about a story was like he

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said, he was just so passionate and energetic about this, being

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able to go and and help people right and serve people and have

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a smile on his face. And I think that's just so important. And so

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that's just a really cool story. Yeah. All right. Well, we

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Yeah, we talked about a lot of things we have it's of having a

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job, right.

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The benefits of having a job? Yeah, we covered a couple things

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there. We talked about career week and career fair, upcoming.

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September 16. Is the career fair. Then we talked a little

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bit about Mark's story, right? And yeah, and his inspiring

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message which, yeah, hopefully we can find a link to the video

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and share that in the show notes.

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Yeah, so just stay at it. Be persistent. And and try to come

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come at your job search with a renewed sense of possibility.

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Cool. All right. Let's do it. Thanks a lot. See you next time.