Searching for new opportunity in the workplace can be a really stressful experience. Career Prospectors is a networking group that exists to support and encourage people throughout the job search. There is no cost at anytime to join or attend. I got to attend a Career Prospectors meeting to deliver this High Five and it was a welcoming, helpful, inspiring group. Wishing everyone in career transition the best of luck in new adventures!
H5RVA: What made you start Career Prospectors?
Charlie: It was by happenstance that Career Prospectors started. I was about to start early retirement in 2002 and realized very few of my connections were in Richmond so I looked for meeting opportunities. I went to an event that had been cancelled but 3 other individuals where there seeking connections or new careers. Three of us decided to meet the following week and the group has meet weekly since that date.
H5RVA? What have you learned about the Richmond job market by your involvement in Career Prospectors?
Charlie: Due to the changing nature of our economy there are always a number of very skilled professionals in career transition.
H5RVA: What do you think are some of the greatest challenges for folks in career transition? How can they be overcome?
Charlie: In many cases the demand for a specific skill set has diminished locally. A big challenge is determining an appropriate career path and then focusing a search in that professional area. There are a number of tools to help determine where you best match. One of most important things is to have informational meetings with professionals to better understand the problems, opportunities and skills needed to be successful in such jobs.
H5RVA: In what ways have you witnessed Richmond being a supportive community? Is there a favorite story you have about this?
Charlie: Richmond is a well connected community and many people go the extra mile to help others with information and introductions. The connections are reinforced by social media, especially LinkedIn.
In 2009 there were a number of professionals in Career Prospectors and we started a LinkedIn group. Members would facility training classes to help others understand the value and to make connections. Members would even start LinkedIn groups to help other organizations connected with their members. In 2012 Linked published a list of the metro areas with the most members. Richmond was number 21 on the list, just behind London who was number 20. The 4400 hundred members of the Career Prospectors LinkedIn group have been instrumental in helping connect individuals in RVA.
H5RVA: What are you going to do with that High Five?
We will be doing High Fives with the many accomplishments by members of Career Prospectors.