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(October 23, 2007) My multi-year post-graduation job search has finally come to an end. My anything-but-inspiring craigslist searching and brief moments on job boards proved to be fruitless. It was through my own network and community that I found, interviewed, and took my new job. Finally.
And, it is a position with AmeriCorps.
Technically speaking, this not a job, but a term of service. It initially ended up in my inbox, where it was overlooked-there was no way I was going to sign up for more volunteering and little paying work. A few weeks later, with the relentless efforts of a close friend, I responded to the email and sent along a cover letter and resumé to the hiring contact. The surface reasons for finally responding were a) I had nothing to loose and b) my friend convincedme that working for and with this woman would be worth the (very small) stipend.
Other motivations came into play in my final decision to give AmeriCorps a second thought. I was turned down for several jobs (in the non-profit program assistant sort of vein) for being overqualified. Now, maybe this was just a nice way of putting me down because they found someone more qualified. But, taking the rejections at face value, the facts are that I am overqualified to be a program assistant and underqualified to be a program director or manager.
One of these organizations felt I was too social to do research, administrative work, and office-oriented tasks. Another felt that retention would be an issue because I would be easily bored. No one was willing to offer me the experience necessary for me to move up into a higher position.
Where does that leave me?
From the AmeriCorps website:
Becoming an AmeriCorps member enables you to do great things for your community while you grow as an individual and attain tangible benefits. Get an Education, Experience, and SkillsAnd of the benefits:
You Will Be Able to Pay Your BillsFor recruiters, hiring mangers and human resource folks, it begs the question: how can you create, shape and sell your positions like AmeriCorp? The above are what many job-searching young (and older) people are looking for-A clear statement about the purpose and benefits of working for this organization and how one can apply what they already know and do to hit the ground running.
If you can answer that question, you can get passionate, committed, excited people on your team. And that is your challenge.
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