My experience at the "Career Change Boot Camp"

by Peter Marus

Over the past weekend, I took a "Career Change Boot Camp" course ran by Marcos Salazar of Be Social Change.  I recommend it to anyone looking for their "next move".  The exercises and format of the entire day will help you realize things.  You will learn ideas about yourself and your career.

First, I noticed I was probably the only one in the session not in a non-proft/NGO organization.  I felt like a fish out of water at first, but I didn't let it dwell and realized everyone here was for one thing: trying to look at themselves and find where/what is the next step.  Side note: I figured everyone was in a non-profit of some sort since I got the class info from my wife, who works for a non-profit.

One of the biggest questions I had going into this was: I know I don't want to do what I am doing, but what do I want to do?  I was doing the exercises and I still didn't have a clear idea what exactly I want to do, but I know that I want a job where I am not sacrificing time from my wife, family, and friends.  I know I want a job where I'm stimulated, where I'm not standing around doing anything.  Where and what isn't that important, but those things are.

I think the biggest thing I took away from it is that my Linkedin, resume, and cover letters needed a lot of work, but at the same time I shouldn't sweat the details as much.  I have been going out of my mind trying to perfect both, but what I should be doing is perfecting them for each job posting.  A single resume won't cut it.  I can't just spread it around like Jonny Resumeseed.

On the resume subject, times change.  I used to be worried about the gap in my resume.  I learned it's not a big deal these days as long as I can explain why and what did I do during that time to improve my skills.  Most hiring people are now used to seeing gaps and people do take time off to go to school, go on sabbatical, whatever.

I took two years away to care for my ailing mother (who since passed away).  During that time, besides helping my mother with her medical matters, I took computer hardware and software classes, built computers for myself and others, and provided tech support for friends and family.  How I handle this on a resume is say I was a "caretaker" or some BS title and list what I did on the time off.  Now I was told to do this by a few people, but now in this climate, it is more leave it off the resume, list the skills you got on the time out of the workforce, and mention the gap in your cover letter.

The class was worth the time and money.  I recommend you look at it or any class that sounds like it.  You're bound to find something valuable out of it.


Just my thoughts on it.