Today was yet another successful Job Fair hosted by Employment Guide and covered by FOX2 Detroit. Hundreds of job seekers came to Burton Manor in Livonia to meet with several dozen employers and schools who are doing their best to take Michigan’s unemployed to the next level. Murray Feldman and team visited with job seekers and employers, and I got the opportunity to meet with people to talk to about how to effectively work a job fair and how to ultimately land a job in a crummy economy.
It seemed like there were fewer people at this event than in the past, but I had some really great conversations with people there who are out of work, but are doing something about their situation. I met a former office administrator whose passion is to help the youth of our city. She’s speaking to groups of kids and looking for financial backing to inspire these kids to see beyond the limitations of their current situation. There was a recent graduate who had just landed a job (she said she had probably attended 100 workshops and job fairs, and she never gave up until she landed in the right job working for the right type of organization.) She had brought her friend who was just beginning the job search process to offer her support. There was an engineer who realized that his real interest is in information technology, and he was getting ready to graduate from a trade school that offers technical training to people who are re-inventing their careers. Another guy who was in sales decided to pursue training as a respiratory therapist, and he said it took him some time to convince himself that receiving financial aid really was not something to be ashamed of…getting retraining was actually something to be proud of.
A common theme wove itself through these conversations. It was a theme of discovery; people finding out who they are and what’s important to them, then moving forward on those paths with determination and dignity. I heard the word passion several times today. People talked about using this crummy economic time to discover what’s really important to them…what really jazzes them…and then they set off toward their dreams.
I’m not suggesting that this job fair didn’t have its share of naysayers…the people who are convinced that there are just no jobs out there. But there was a greater sense of possibility. And a more noticeable presence of people in action. I was encouraged. If we want Michigan to get out of the mess we’re in, we’re going to have to take action. And we’re going to have to consider possibilities that we have not yet considered.
Thank you FOX2 and thank you Employment Guide for providing a place for the people in our area who need help most to come together and explore the possibility of moving forward in their careers.