Hudson Job Search has truly been fortunate to benefit from the involvement, participation and tremendous leadership of many devoted volunteers. Our Featured Advisor this month has not only been a very active Advisor, helping countless unemployed people in their job searches, but he has been instrumental in the evolution and health of the organization. Jim Ahern began his volunteer service with Hudson Job Search as the President, organizing the systems and processes carried out by our army of volunteer Advisors to provide free job search services. Jim retired as the President after twelve years in the position and continues to serve the community as an Advisor. We are pleased to take this month to feature Jim, his history with Hudson Job Search and many contributions to the organization in this interview:
Jim Ahern graduated from Westminster College with a degree in Biology/premed. He went to work for Eli Lilly, a major pharmaceutical manufacturing company where he held several leadership positions in sales, medical marketing, international marketing, drug development project management and sales management over a 33-year career with the company.
Q: What inspired you to become an Advisor with Hudson Job Search?
A: I actually started as the President after I retired from my second career with Sandler Training. I was approached by Jim Gorian, the President at the time, and after meeting some of the leaders and Advisors of Hudson Job Search, I realized what a great organization it is and what need it filled in the community. Even though I retired as the President last year I remain an HJS Advisor.
Q: How long have you been an Advisor with Hudson Job Search?
A: I have been with HJS for 12 years.
Q: What do you enjoy the most about your role as an Advisor with the organization?
A: I am like most Advisors with HJS …the enjoyment comes from the success of having helped someone find a job. Specifically, finding the job they want and not have to settle for a job they don’t want. And if they wanted to stay in Hudson, I enjoy helping them be successful in doing so.
Q: What’s your favorite Hudson Job Search story?
I have many favorites but here is a good one. Mike Polovick and I have done hundreds of mock interviews, a tool to help the job seeker practice in an interview scenario and get feedback. They are treated as a real interview and video recorded. One time, we were doing an interview with a male job seeker who, when he was listening to Mike’s questions, had an angry expression on his face. After we were done with the interview we gave him some feedback about looking angry and he said, “that’s what my wife tells me but I don’t believe her”. Then we showed him the video and he was somewhat shocked that it was true. He said later he was working on correcting this issue (nobody wants to hire new angry employee).
Q: What would you say to someone who is thinking about becoming a Hudson Job Search Advisor?
A:If you have a passion to help others and want a regular opportunity to do it, HJS offers that. If you want to be part of a group of great people dedicated to a meaningful mission, HJS offers that. If you want to help people who are at a tough spot in their lives, HJS offers that. And, we also have some fun as well.
Q: How did you learn how to advise Job Seekers?
A: In my career I probably interviewed 5-600 people and I managed over 300. This, plus learning important current tactics that are necessary for today’s job seekers, eg: LinkedIn, Reference USA,
resume building and understanding resume screening software, marketing plan building, networking, interview skills, and more. Also of great help are the experienced Advisors that you meet with during our monthly Advisor Meetings. They collectively provide answers and suggestions to almost any issue that comes up.
Q: If Hudson Job Search could do anything, with limitless donations, what would you like to see the organization accomplish in the next 5 years?
A: First and foremost we should be a more recognized resource not only in Hudson, but in northern Summit County as well. I believe there is a possibility to coordinate some strengths of other job clubs in the area to better target needs of specific job seekers. While we have great Monday night speakers, with some funding help we might be able to attract some top national authors/speakers. This also could be shared with other job clubs. Also top national speakers should increase our local awareness.
See other Featured Advisors below: