An Open Letter to Our Users

Recently I received an email from a reader whose problem can best be stated as follows:

He has spent $60,000 on a degree in Conflict Analysis and Resolution, graduating in December, and he was now looking for a job in his field. Although he has sent out over 400 job applications and has over 200+ hours of volunteer community service in dispute resolution and has established and run DONE , an acronym for Direct Objectives No Excuses an organization dedicated to providing community service opportunities to those who want to make a difference in their communities, he still has found himself without job prospects in his field and questioning the choices he has made.

Certainly he has done all the right things to make himself job ready in his chosen field so what's wrong with this picture? I can think of a couple of things, none of which are his fault:

One lies with those offering the training programs whether they be degree granting or certification providing, a problem that I have addressed before to some degree in this site's Mediation Jobs Myths and Mediation Jobs Myths, Part Two pages. There is a need for consumers of these programs to start holding these programs accountable for either the job claims they make or, in some cases, for taking people's money and training them for degrees where there are no entry level jobs.

There is also a need for those in the trenches to be able to communicate with each other. An organized effort that involves information sharing and action planning is likely to be more successful in obtaining results than individual efforts.

Second, my reader does not currently have available to him information sharing about specific job finding strategies and job opportunities. Conflict-resolution-jobs.com is the only site I know of that focuses directly on finding jobs in dispute resolution. Other sites that provide some job listings do it as an adjunct to their primary purpose not as their primary purpose.

Yes, there is the issue of the economy and the fact we are in belt tightening times, however, this reader's letter is illustrative of many I receive from readers. Surely in tight times someone still should be able to find an entry level job at a good salary. I have no such examples to offer.

So the question arose, what can conflict-resolution-jobs do to help provide a remedy? Please remember that this website is a labor of love. It makes almost no money, less than $25/month from Google ads but has cost a substantial amount both in time and money to create. (Somewhere between $3000 to $5000 for the site, the special job search engine and related fees, as well as hundreds of hours in learning HTML and CSS programming languages and in designing and researching the site and each individual page.) However, I am a single parent with a full time job which is not running this website.

Access to conflict-resolution-jobs.com resources is free. I am aware that other sites insist on a "donation" before allowing users to access the jobs listings but I don't want to go that route. So, I have decided to appeal to my readers.

There are two types of functionality that I would like to add to the site:

  1. A forum function that would allow users to be in direct contact with each other to share information, strategies, ideas as well as rate programs and develop approaches for holding those programs accountable. It could also serve as a space to celebrate individual successes; and

  2. A job posting function that would allow individual programs and companies with available jobs to post directly to the site. I have been contacted in the past by companies interested in advertising with us but have lacked the knowledge to create the mechanism to make it happen and have failed in my prior attempts to do so. I would also like this function to include the ability to broadcast these new job postings to anyone who has signed up to receive updates. I would also like the application to include the functionality to charge a modest fee via Paypal for advertising (something like $10/month).

I am asking my readers and users for one of two things:

  1. Are you or is someone you know knowledgeable in website development and could create the forum function or job posting function for either no or very low cost?

  2. What ideas can you contribute for getting either of these functions to happen? I am thinking of such things as crowd sourcing or other mechanisms that might be available?

  3. What is your wishlist? Other functions you would like the site to have to increase its usefulness to you?

Rather than using the forms on the right hand side of this page, please send your thoughts directly to me at mostrer@mindspring.com. Or, if you'd rather leave a comment you can do so in the "Comments" section immediately after this letter.

In addition to creating this page, I am also circulating this letter to those signed up on our email list, and if you express interest when you sign up I will also circulate the ideas I receive via that email list or post them to this page.

Thanks for your continued interest in the site,

Marsha

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  • Conflict Resolution Jobs Court ADR Programs
  • Jobs in Conflict Resolution: Lessons From the Front Lines
  • Mediation Jobs Myths, Part One
  • Mediation Jobs Myths, Part Two


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