Archive for the ‘networking’ category

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish

October 29th, 2010

Do you see your unemployment as an opportunity?

For most of us who are unemployed, one of the most difficult parts of our journey is what got us here.

We are unemployed, laid off, displaced, in transition (and who thought that one up anyway?) — we are unwanted.

It may have come in a phone call, an email, an interoffice memo, or a face to face meeting.  We were informed that we were no longer needed to perform the job that paid our bills, help put our kids through college, funded our family vacations, covered our medical expenses, made possible our planned retirement, and in many ways fulfilled our lives, nourished our minds, satisfied our souls.

So much of our identity is wrapped up in what now is our past job title or set of responsibilities — and in many ways I think that this is even more so for men who head families and may be the primary breadwinner.

Now that when we find ourselves out of a job we may not feel that we have an identity any longer.  We seem to float around in some odd state of limbo.

We spend a lot of time worrying — and rightly so — about finding the next job and returning to work.  Unfortunately, we don’t take the opportunity to celebrate the fact that not having a job is an opportunity to explore avenues previously closed off due to the obligations of a job.

Did you know that Steve Jobs was fired from Apple? In this video, Steve Jobs speaks about several things, but in particular, how his being fired from Apple offered him an opportunity to reinvent, change and grow.

I attended the CED‘s Start Something celebration last night at the American Tobacco Campus and toured the new American Underground.  The whole purpose of what is being done at American Underground is to create an environment that nurtures new ideas and innovation.

Jobs’ advice to the graduating class at Stanford doesn’t have to be only for the young eager students graduating from college. Each of us on our journey to the next point in our career can take his advice and move forward.

Perhaps your unemployment will allow you to be like Steve Jobs.

Perhaps we all should Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.

What is this time in your life going to allow you to create, innovate, explore? What have you done foolish lately?


Shameless Plug – Find a Job in 140 Characters or Less

October 10th, 2010

After more than a year out of work Amy M. of St. Louis, MO is back 2 work thanks 2 #Twitter.  Alison S. of Green Bay, WI is back 2 work 2. (138 characters)

Find out their stories & how #Twitter can help #jobseekers thru #jobhuntchat & #hirefriday, as well as other #Twitter job search tools. (135 characters)

Join @joannawolfe @ ProNet Raleigh’s monthly meeting @UOPX in #Raleigh 10/12 9-11am to learn more about #Twitter RSVP (138 characters)

Find out how 2 set up a #Twitter account, get 2 know useful #Twitter Tools, & ways #jobseekers are using Twitter 2 find their next job. (135 characters)

If U can decipher the sentences above, U may B able 2 land UR next job in 140 characters or less! (if not, we’ll help you figure it out) (136 characters)

And for those of you who don’t tweet…

I’ll be talking about the how Twitter can be a powerful tool for your job search at the next ProNet Raleigh.  You don’t have to have a smart phone to use Twitter.  All you need is a computer and a few minutes a day.

What: ProNet Raleigh

When: Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Where: University of Phoenix offices

5511 Capital Center Drive
Raleigh, NC, 27606-3380
Phone: 919.854.2121

Take Jones Franklin Road exit from the Beltline (440), just north/west of 1-40 interchange.

Who: ProNet Raleigh is sponsored by EDSI ( who helps mid-level professionals attain jobs, training, and more.



Go Hear Arik Abel Speak At CJS

September 19th, 2010

I have been trying to find the time to devote to writing a thorough post about the benefits of using Twitter as a job search tool.  But the best laid plans… My schedule really hasn’t allowed me to write everything that is buzzing around in my head — so I’m still trying to wordsmith for that blog entry.

However, Arik Abel will be at the Colonial Baptist JobSeekers group in Cary, on Monday, September 20, 2010 — sorry for the short notice, I just found out about this myself — speaking on topic of using Facebook and Twitter in your Job Search.

In the Chapel from 9:45-11:00 a.m., guest speaker, Arik Abel, will share how two popular social networks – Twitter and Facebook – can enhance your search.

Twitter, Facebook and the Job Search?

While most professionals in transition see the value and return of maintaining a LinkedIn presence for networking, many don’t realize that there are benefits and practical applications for using Twitter and Facebook for the job search. Arik Abel, a fellow jobseeker, marketing professional and emerging media enthusiast, will present an introductory look at how you can leverage these social networks to build relationships and open doors that will enhance your job search. Professionals from any industry should join this presentation to enjoy a high-level overview, best practices, and examples of successful tactics that you can act on today.

Arik Abel

I want to encourage folks to come out and hear Arik speak.  I’m sure he’s going to have a lot of good information.


Seeing Green – Green Economy, Green Careers, Green Jobs

August 24th, 2010

It seems the world is going green these days.

In the span of the next 8 weeks there are green events everywhere you look.

Want to understand the new Green Economy?  Michael Gaudet of Green Peak Research is presenting a class Transitioning to the New Green Economy at Wake Tech’s Cary Campus this week on Wednesday and Thursday this week  — August 25 – 26, 2010.  You can still attend the class, email Pat Taylor ( at Wake Tech and/or Michael Gaudet ( directly to enroll.  It’s free to folks who are unemployed, underemployed or pending a layoff.

Green Drinks is going to be on the Greens – the Lonnie Poole Golf Course greens at NCSU that is, on Thursday, August 26, 2010.  For more information:

A follow up to Transitioning to the New Green Economy, a one day course — Targeting Green Jobs in NC will be held on September 1, 2010 at Wake Tech’s Cary Campus, as with the previous course, it is free to folks who are unemployed, underemployed or pending a layoff.  Email Pat Taylor ( at Wake Tech and/or Michael Gaudet ( directly to enroll.

Green NC (Career Day, Education Sessions, Trade Show, and Awards) will be held on Thursday, September 9, 2010 at the NCSU McKimmon Center.  This event focuses on the Green Building, and is sponsored by the US Green Building Council NC Chapter.

The SJF 2010 Summit on the New Green Economy on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 14 – 15, 2010 will be held at the Downtown Durham Convention Center.

And the State Fair October 14 – 24, 2010 is getting into the action with an exhibit called Green NC.  Between the Deep Fried Twinkies and Pig Races, check out the exhibit.

And as if you haven’t seen enough Green yet, Triangle Business Journal is holding their Green Awards and Expo at the Embassy Suites in Cary on Tuesday, October 19, 2010.


Volunteer, But Be Sincere

August 20th, 2010

One of my rather not so well kept secrets is I love my dogs.   Crumpet and Nutmeg, my retired racing greyhounds, amuse me highly.  I can spend hours waxing poetic about how they make me laugh or how they have spoiled me for any other kind dog (I’m on greyhounds 3 and 4).  I’ll tell you how they lay real flat and sleep 18 hours a day.  And if you talk to me long enough, I might even get you to take the plunge and drive out to one of the Greensboro area kennels to see if you want to bring one home for yourself. 

greyhound dogs sleeping on a chaise

high strung, high energy, active dogs

I’ve volunteered with Greyhounds Welfare and Adoption groups, and Dog recreation groups for more than ten years.  In fact, the projects I have worked on as a volunteer,  in the canine community, are some of my proudest accomplishments.  Along the way, I’ve gained skills in managing events, people, and dealing with local government (ask me about getting the Durham Dog Park built).

One of the things you are often told when you are unemployed is to volunteer.

There are lots of good reasons to volunteer:

  • You do good things for others.
  • It makes you feel good about yourself to contribute to something in a meaningful way.
  • You have a reason to get out of bed in the morning — or afternoon :) — and get out of the house.
  • It gives you a productive break from searching the web for the next job lead.

In fact, it might also provide you opportunities you didn’t count on.  When you volunteer:

  • You meet people of all sorts – people who are employed, people who run companies.
  • You demonstrate your ability to work within a group.
  • You demonstrate your commitment to a job.
  • You demonstrate your work ethic.
  • You have an answer to that question “What have you been doing while you’ve been unemployed?”

Volunteering can help you stay current on your job skills — consider volunteering with your professional organization when they do a study group or review course for certifications — who knows, you may even get some Continuing Education credits for your work.

In fact, volunteering may gain you access to an industry or company you have targeted.  When money is tight and you can’t pay the fee for an area conference or industry event, you may be able to volunteer and gain access.  Don’t forget, the person staffing the registration table sees every person who attends an event.  It’s a great way to keep current on what is going on in your target industry, and make new connections.

Should you expect volunteering to lead to your next job? No.

Could volunteering lead to your next job? Possibly.

The key is to volunteer but be sincere.  Volunteer for something you will enjoy regardless of whether or not it leads to a job.

For every skill and interest you have there is a volunteer opportunity where you can put them to work:

  • Are you bi-lingual? Consider volunteering as a translator at a local hospital or shelter.
  • Do you enjoy working with your hands? How about a Habitat for Humanity project?
  • Want to help out in general? How about the United Way?
  • Enjoy golfing?  There are programs that teach golf to at risk youth.
  • Are you a good manager, experienced in mentoring staff?  Why not be a mentor to a student – middle school, high school, even college?
  • A good leader? The scouts have a job for you!
  • Computer Geek? How about refurbishing computers?
  • Have the gift of gab? How about visiting shut ins, area nursing homes, or rehabilitation centers?
  • Like to drive? How about meals on wheels?
  • Cooking your thing? Area shelters need volunteers to prepare and serve meals.
  • Now is also a good time to recommit to exercise – how about a walk-a-thon or 5k?
  • If you like working with animals, there are numerous animal shelters, animal rescue, welfare, and adoption groups that could use your help — but don’t blame me if you fail fostering.

So here’s something for you to do, make a volunteer connection, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  Below is an arbitrary list of some area opportunities:

Remember you’ll get the most out of volunteering if you are sincere about what you are doing.  So I’m curious to know, what volunteer activities are you involved in?  Share with us your volunteer activities and what you have gained from your experience.