Dear Gabby,

My club has lost a few members because they lost their jobs.  Our entire state is facing job losses.  I have to think there is something that our Toastmasters clubs can do to help this situation.  Do you have any advice?

Anxious in Anchorage


Hello Anxious,

This is a timely question.  There is a lot our clubs can do to help our members and our communities with job-hunting.  Here are a few thoughts on the subject:

  • There is no better preparation for a job interview than lots and lots of Table Topics.  Our clubs can assist their attendees by expanding the time we give to Table Topics, to be sure all guests and members in a non-speaking role get a chance to participate.  Even better, we can dedicate the Table Topics session from one meeting a month to typical job interview questions.
  • If our members are job-hunting, we should encourage them to give manual speeches, clarify the value they can deliver to an employer and strengthen their ability to sell themselves.  This could be as simple as encouraging a member to give another Icebreaker, focusing on their job skills.  It could be as complex as asking a member to work through an entire advanced manual, focusing each exercise how they’ve accomplished or value they can deliver to an employer.
  • If we want to market our club AND help job-hunters, how about holding a Community Education Event, with a focus on job-hunting skills.  We can find a Human Resource person or Job Hunting Skills expert in our area and ask them to present.  Then we publicize the heck out of it for 6 – 9 weeks.  If our area really is as job challenged as we believe, we’ll probably have a full room.

On a personal note, in my own experience, job-hunting is by its nature a confidence destroying activity.  We need to combat this confidence erosion.  I find attending a Toastmasters meeting to be a confidence building activity.  I realized I could fight the side effects of job-hunting by attending Toastmasters meetings.

When I’m seeking new employment, I go to more Toastmasters meetings, not less.  I visit other clubs.  I go to as many meetings as I need too in order to maintain a healthy sense of confidence.

Our clubs can be a priceless resource to our job-hunting members and our community.


P.S. Want advice for you or your club? Email your question to Dear Gabby.

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