Registration for Michigan Shifting Gears’ Fall 2012 Program (Cohort 12) is now open!

This program is a great resource for experienced job seekers going through any kind of career transition scenarios including :

  •    Currently in a transition (unemployed
  •  Preparing for a transition
  • Returning Veteran…now trying to learn the ropes of trying to enter the private sector workforce.
  •  Starting from scratch
  •  Moving to Michigan for the first time (without having a job already in place) **This includes trailing spouses
  • Returning to Michigan (without having a job already in place)
  •  Returning to the workforce after being out for a while (to be a stay-at-home parent, to be a caregiver for a friend/family member, etc.)
  •  Wanting to change careers/industries

Successful Michigan Shifting Gears candidates come from a variety of backgrounds and life experiences. We’ve put together the attached document to help you identify who is best suited for this program.

Characteristics of a Shifting Gears Candidate

For more information, please contact Rhonda Pierce or Denise Flannery: ShiftingGears@michigan.org or visit: http://www.mitalent.org/Michigan-Shifting-Gears-Program/

Successful Michigan Shifting Gears candidates come from a variety of backgrounds and life experiences. Some key characteristics include:

  •  4-year degree or comparable combination of training and experience
  •  Very minimum of 5-7 years of progressive work experience with a successful track record (by successful track record, meaning that within that progressive work experience, in each role, they grew, possibly the role changed/expanded as they took on more responsibility, moved easily from one position to another like stepping stones, etc.)
  • Don’t have to have ever been a manager/managed staff
  • Don’t have to come strictly from a large corporate background; Can come from any background – small business, non-profit, etc.
  •  Age 35+ years (no cap on the high end – we’ve had participants in their 70’s…what’s more important than the age…keep reading)
  •  Passion for learning about themselves
  •  Passion to work, but more than just any work, really wanting to add value to a company, be part of making a difference in an organization/company
    (So back to the age thing, the 70 year olds we’ve had in the past cohorts weren’t even close to talking about retiring.  They’re enthusiastic about doing something they’re passionate about.)
  • Speaking of passion, maybe a key problem in their career search is that they continue to cast this very broad net.  They are struggling to identify/communicate what they are passionate about, what they really want to do…
  • High enough reading/comprehension level to feel comfortable with reading, understanding, and then being able to discuss homework reading assignments that include Harvard Business Cases and Articles.
  1.  Career-Transition Scenarios:
  • Currently in a transition (unemployed)…the majority of those who have previously gone through the program fall into this group.  What makes being unemployed so traumatic for them is that these individuals have never been unemployed before.  They’ve never had a problem finding a new career opportunity to transition into, and when they did change careers, it was directly from one into another – there wasn’t (for the most part) a gap where they left one position without identifying first where they would land.  And this, again for the most part, is the ‘aging’ workforce.  This adds another dynamic to their already difficult career search.  Despite all of that previous success they’ve had finding an opportunity, and despite every effort they’re making now to find an opportunity, they are getting little to no response to their resume.
  • Preparing for a transition…they’re employed, but they aren’t happy, for whatever reason.  In anticipation of this, they are building that bridge before they have to cross it.  Individuals in this situation are usually in a place where they recognize the real importance of not just moving to another ‘job’ just to get out of where they are.  They acknowledge the impact of the economy on how many opportunities will really be available viable options.  They want to be strategic.  Part of this process may be that they’ve never really ‘learned how to’ or understood the value of networking, or they can tell there’s something missing in their current career, and they need to do the leg work to figure out what it really is they’re sensing – do they prefer a different work environment, do they want to do something new, have they EVER done something they’re passionate about.
  • Returning Veteran…now trying to learn the ropes of trying to enter the private sector workforce.
  • Starting from scratch…we have several alumni who completed the program during one of the cohorts this year who fall into a couple of these categories.  In all of the following, they are starting from square one to get themselves into the workforce.  Because of the program’s huge emphasis on learning how to effectively network, including lots of networking opportunities, and lots of new connection opportunities, the program can provide incredible value to someone who either doesn’t have a professional network in place at all, or they do, but it’s irrelevant/out dated…
    •  Moving to Michigan for the first time (without having a job already in place)
      **This includes trailing spouses – they’re following their spouse here for a new career opportunity.
    • Returning to Michigan (without having a job already in place)
    • Returning to the workforce after being out for a while (to be a stay-at-home parent, to be a caregiver for a friend/family member, etc.)
  • Wanting to change careers/industries…they’ve got a passion for an industry they’ve never worked in before or they’ve got a particular set of skills  that they enjoy using but because they’ve never held a position that specifically utilized that skillset (no ‘official’ experience that could be captured in black and white in the work history section of their resume), typical ‘big companies’ aren’t known for hiring you based solely on what you say you can do – only what you can back up in writing.  An example of this would be one of our graduates who was a landscape architect and that was his work background.  However, he had strong project management skills (after all, what is landscape architecture? One project after another…) and really wanted to get into private-sector project management as a career.  But because he had never been a “PROJECT MANAGER” before, he was continuously unsuccessful in that effort.  He utilized the program as an opportunity to help him with this – he took advantage of the internship as his moment to finally flex his project manager muscles and get some work experience on his resume that finally was “PROJECT MANAGER”.  Same with a change of industry – someone doesn’t have a background in a particular industry but they have a natural knack/or passion for that industry.  Again, the internship provides a great opportunity to accomplish this.
  •  This isn’t specifically for people wanting to start their own business.  However, what we do continue to see happen is individuals, in moving through the program’s process, begin to define what they are truly passionate about, and either, they find a way to make money doing that, or they stumble upon an entrepreneurial spirit they didn’t know was lying dormant inside themselves, and they start their own business.

 

 

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