Hey Mom, I Caught a Troll

March 31, 2010

Once upon a time there was a school teacher with a 33 year old special needs son who functioned well enough that he was able to stay at home safely without supervision while his mother was away at work. And, his mother was able to go to work having peace of mind because she knew that her son would phone her in the event of an emergency. Time passed and all went well until early one morning the mother received a call at work:

“Mom, I’ve caught a troll. You’ve gotta come home!” exclaimed her son excitedly.

“Honey, you know I can’t leave work,” his mother calmly replied. “And, remember, you’re only supposed to call me if there is an emergency.”

The second time her son called that day to tell her he caught a troll and she needed to come home, she sternly reminded him that she could not come home unless there was a real emergency. By the fifth call, she definitely was not amused.

When she got home from work that afternoon, her son rushed to the car door as she opened it. “Mom, come see my troll!” He grabbed her hand and hurriedly led her upstairs to his bedroom. There she saw a chair propped firmly against his closet door to keep it shut.

“Be careful mom,” he warned as he removed the chair from the door. “You gotta see him but he really wants to get away!” When he opened the door, there sat a real live midget.

The poor fellow was a Jehovah’s Witness who had been out proselyting that morning. When the midget knocked on the door and the son opened the door and saw him, the boy picked him up and carried him upstairs to his bedroom and shut him up in his closet…where he had spent the last five hours.

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Overcoming Job Title Identity Theft

March 9, 2010

Do You Feel Erased?
By Janet Walgren

One of the challenges unemployed workers are facing in today’s job market is trying to find a new work identity after their old identity was erased. In my former position as Student Success Manager for EWI, I spent four years helping seasoned professionals and novices alike identify, utilize and monetize their transferable skills to create new careers as entrepreneurs.

In this capacity, I was able to help hundreds of people stay positive in the face of adversity, create new dreams and gain the courage to fulfill their dreams. I was also able to help entrepreneurs identify their needs and suggest resources to help them meet their business challenges.

I believe the current economy presents an unprecedented opportunity for both employers and prospective employees alike because of the incredible pool of talented candidates that was unavailable for employers to choose from in older more stable economies. Non-traditional crossover candidates bring with them a wealth of training and a diversity of experiences that can enrich and rejuvenate a stale corporate environment while fulfilling staffing needs.

A title isn’t who you are. A title doesn’t even necessarily tell what you did. You are a valuable person regardless of the titles others might bestow on you or take from you. If you have been downsized and feel like your identity has been erased, make a list of your skills, talents and experiences. Then, as you read job announcements, ask yourself, “How can my skill set fit in with [this] employer’s needs?”

You don’t have to be desperate and settle for a bad employer or a bad job. Remember, you were looking for a job when you found your last one so, don’t forget to make it a two way interview.

It’s not what you have been but what you are becoming that determines your future.