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Monday, March 13, 2006
Forces of Nature
Several years ago about this time of year, I was attending a job fair in a major metro area where I was providing resume reviews and classes on resume development. It was spring and the weather was typically spring-ish – scattered thunderstorms. The job fair was being held in a sporting arena, a large concrete structure surrounded by glass windows that extended from the floor upward about thirty feet or so. The windows provided a lovely view of the city skyline, the street outside full of tourists, and the thunderous weather that was in the area that day.

About halfway through the afternoon, as I was taking a break in a classroom on the interior of the arena, a tremendous blast occurred followed quickly by an announcement on the PA system for all building occupants to proceed to the nearest stairwell and descend to the basement. A tornado was ripping through downtown and the blast I had heard but not seen was the windows being blown inward by the wind.

All the recruiters and job seekers rapidly moved into the basement area where the locker rooms and parking structures were located. The only light was from emergency lighting and there was no cell phone reception at that depth. We were perfectly safe in the basement so people began to relax and chat while we waited for the all-clear.

It was in this unexpected venue that I saw some astute job seekers take advantage of the opportunity to get extra face time with recruiters. Since the environment was atypical, the traditional “interview” situation went out the window (along with a lot of the furnishings and signs) and job seekers and recruiters were able to talk beyond the normal interview questions.

We were stuck there in the basement for approximately 45 minutes and then no one was allowed to leave the arena later for at least two more hours because the streets were blocked with debris and emergency responders. All that extra time to talk with recruiters was an unexpected benefit for the job seekers who were there that afternoon. I’ve often wondered how many people were hired as a result of that tornado.

November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 /


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