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How To Refresh Your Job Search Strategy

Dear J.T. & Dale: I have been out of work since I had a baby in 2009. I have found it extremely hard to find a job. I live with my mother and daughter, and I feel bad I am unable to contribute to the household. I have had many interviews, but they just aren't hiring. My mother is fed up with me, but I tell her it's the economy, and ask how she could just throw me out like a piece of trash, but I don't blame her. I just keep praying and wishing that someone wealthy would come along and say, "Hey, don't despair - I'm here to help you succeed in your endeavors and pay off your debts." I'm just desperate and really don't want to be homeless. - Teresa DALE: That lovely little fantasy reminds me of Snow White singing "Some Day My Prince Will Come." And thinking of that scene, I'm going to have to play the role of Grumpy. I need to explain why your dream isn't going to come true - because most wealthy people believe this: "If I hand a poor person a lot of money, within a year or two that person will be poor again." J.T.: That's one reason the wealthy typically donate their money to a well-run charity where they know exactly how their donations will be spent. These programs are successful because they help people stay focused and build momentum so they can finally get out on their own. You should explore organizations in your area that support single mothers. I'll bet you can find one that offers temporary housing, affordable day care and assistance in finding work. DALE: Agreed. I teach a career course at a men's center, and I always tell my classes that they have many advantages compared with the typical unemployed suburbanite. First, they have an employment coach to help them optimize their appearance and approach. Even better, when they moved into the facility, they inherited an instant network. There are 90 other men living there, all of whom are either employed or actively job searching, and that means 90 guys out in the workplace who are able to spot job openings for one another. Contrast this with sitting at Mom's, wishing and hoping. So, let's be honest: You'd be better off if your mother threw you out and you were forced to seek other assistance. J.T.: Do your mother a favor and take the initiative. (And one more thing: Please consider a different e-mail address, one that doesn't include a word like "vixen." There are HR people who routinely reject anyone with a suggestive e-mail address. You can keep your current e-mail for personal use, but get another one, such as a Gmail account, with a conservative, professional address). Feel free to send questions to J.T. and Dale via e-mail at advice@jtanddale.com or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10019. © 2012 by King Features Syndicate, Inc. Job search strategy image from Shutterstock