Saturday, May 1, 2010

Commitment to the Profession

The recent economic strife has caused continued upheaval and uncertainty across industries and throughout the job market. During my 11 months as ASSE president, I have heard many stories relaying the devastating personal effects that the recession has had on many friends, colleagues and fellow ASSE members. I have heard about the impact of extended job searches, the financial strain on families, the stress on spouses and children, and the health issues related to anxiety about the future.

I cannot help but sympathize with the frustration, self-doubt and hopelessness that often accompany joblessness. As a profession and as an organization, I am urging that we come together to do more for those colleagues and friends currently seeking employment. While many job-seeking tools are readily available on the Internet and elsewhere, I encourage each of you make a personal commitment to help fellow SH&E professionals in their job searches. Consider some of the things you can do to help those searching for jobs:
• Help them build their network of contacts. Call your contacts to get leads or other ideas to expand the scope of their job search. Follow up with these contacts. View this as an opportunity to build and strengthen your own networks so you are better prepared should you suddenly find yourself looking for a job.
• Stay in regular contact with the job seekers. Buy them lunch or treat them to a round of golf. Knowing they have support and someone to talk to will lift their spirits.
• Review their resumes and provide constructive comments and encouragement.
• Help them conduct practice interviews. Offer ideas on what questions might be asked and how to best answer them. This helps build confidence.
• Register to be an ASSE networking partner. In this role, you will work with a job seeker to help that person expand networks and develop job leads. This will be a rewarding experience for you and it may be a life-changing experience for the job seeker. For more information on this program, click here.

ASSE also offers several services and tools to help members searching for a job. For example, the Society recently developed a series of training modules that are available free to members. The modules cover general job-seeking advice; resumes and cover letters; networking; interviewing; using job boards; online social networking; and negotiation. To access these modules and other resources, click here.

In addition, ASSE recently launched group pages on LinkedIn for the practice specialties and branches. Through these groups you can participate in the discussions, search jobs, find resources and network with fellow SH&E professionals. To access these resources, visit, select the group directory tab and use “ASSE practice specialty” as your search term.

ASSE is also planning to partner with other associations to increase the number of new listings on the Nexsteps job board (found at And, the Society is developing resources to help chapters improve their networking and job search capabilities. SH&E professionals shine when it comes to doing what’s needed to help people stay safe and well. Many of us know friends and colleagues who now need help to be employed and stay well. Together, let’s commit to make a difference in their lives. Thank you for your ongoing efforts to support and advance our great profession.

“The more I help others to succeed, the more I succeed.”
—Ray Kroc