No doubt about it, times are tough. For example, this morning we were greeted by a Washington Post profile of South Africa RPCV Michael Volpe, who has taken to standing outside of downtown Metro stations with a sign around his neck:
The 25-year-old college graduate with a degree in physics and a couple of years with the Peace Corps is learning that the nation's capital is also the networking capital. And if you don't know the right people, landing a job can be daunting.
This week, he took his job search in a new direction, standing outside downtown D.C. Metro stops during morning rush hour with a sign around his neck reading, "ENTRY LEVEL JOB SEEKER."
While Michael's initiative is right in line with that "can-do" Peace Corps spirit, there ARE other ways that newly returned Peace Corps volunteers get a toe hold in this tough job market.
- Peace Corps Office of Returned Volunteer Services -- Remember, once a volunteer, always a volunteer. RVS sponsors frequent career events, offers downloadable job guides, publishes Hotline every two weeks, maintains a yahoo! group called rpcvnetwork where they post jobs--and more. You can get detailed information on how to, for example, leverage your non-competitive eligibility for Federal jobs. If you're headed back to school, they have information on programs that welcome RPCVs.
- NPCA's RPCV Mentoring Program - The NPCA/Peace Corps Mentoring program was started in 2007 with a fundamental goal in mind: to connect recently returned Peace Corps Volunteers with RPCV mentors. Via phone, email and face-to-face meetings, these mentors help ease the difficult transition, provide a connection to the RPCV community at large, and say some of the most comforting words in the English language, namely, “I know what you’re going through. I’ve been there.”
- NPCA's Online Career Center - listings of jobs where the employer is specifically seeking out RPCVs.
- Connected Peace Corps - Sign on to the "Facebook for Peace Corps." A group for job seekers has already formed. Most Peace Corps countries and geographic groups now have groups. Join and ask for advice and leads. Here in Washington, DC, RPCVs of Washington is very active and can, again, be a source of advice, possible job leads and moral support.
Are there other resources that we've left out? Add them in the comments section