Thursday, December 10, 2015

"Show Them, Don't Tell Them" with Joanne Dennison

No wonder Joanne Dennison is known as "The Guidance Counselor for Grown-ups!" She drew in the participants at the meeting on December 9th, elicited their stories, and gave them valuable feedback.

She shared nuggets such as:

  • Have three or more go-to words - adjectives that describe you and build your stories around them.
  • Don't let the interviewer take control of the interview. You have to steer the conversation so that you highlight your strengths.
  • Give examples from your work experience to demonstrate what you've done to create an impact in your company.
  • Ask your friends or colleagues to use three words to describe you. Remember that "compliments are gifts given to you."
  • You could also tell your stories to your friends and ask them to say what qualities are revealed through those stories.
Practical information that will help job seekers and anyone who wants to communicate effectively. Thank you Joanne! 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Interview as Seen From the Other Side of the Table by Bruce MacDonald

On 10/14 Bruce MacDonald gave some great interview tips:

  • Think of the questions you would ask if someone was interviewing for the job you're applying to
  • Understand the needs of any job before you're interviewed
  • The hiring process is designed to weed you out, so prove that you're the best person for the job
  • Learn about interview styles, possible questions, responses and traps
  • Before the interview, there can be phone screening, video screening or in-person screening
  • Find out about the company from their website, social media pages or the employee handbook, if you can get it
  • Be ready for a behavioral interview or a situational or case interview.
  • Avoid canned answers and cliches
  • Be ready with examples or how you improved a situation and have quantifiable results
Some trap questions to be wary of:

  • What is the worst job or supervisor you ever had?
  • Describe a negative review you received
  • What would you change about your last job?
  • What do you do in your spare time?
Be prepared with a few questions to ask the interviewer. Some examples are:

  • How will I be reviewed? When? By whom?
  • Describe the culture of your company
  • What is the typical career trajectory for this job?
  • Do you have any reservations about me that I can address for you now?
All the attendees enjoyed Bruce's presentation.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Network! Network! Network!

Found an interesting article about networking that I wanted to share:

I would also like to let you know that the meeting room at the Library (214 Lake Street) is reserved for the WIN group on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month from 6:30-8 PM. You are welcome to come and network during that time and practice your elevator speeches or do mock interviews. I'm sure all of you have experiences that will help someone else in their career paths and everyone could benefit from networking. 

The meeting room is available on August 26th, September 9th, September 23rd, October 14th and October 28th. So, please avail yourselves of the space. Also, please let me know if one of you would like to do a presentation on any job-search related topic and I'll communicate it to the group. If I invite special speakers, I'll let you know; but, the Library is for the community members to gather and be engaged and that is what I would like to facilitate. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Building an Effective and Selective Network

Ellen Goodman, Financial Adviser with Prudential Finances, shared her knowledge and advice on enhancing your sphere of influence and strategies to achieve your personal and professional goals. 

Having spent the last 20 plus years in the financial services industry, primarily dealing with large corporations, Ellen felt that she needed to find a professional environment, where she could deal with people on an individual level.  As her passion in life has always been to help people through education and counseling, it was a natural fit for her to join Prudential as a Financial Adviser. Over the course of Ellen’s career, she’s helped clients by providing expertise, insight, and access to the financial products that can help them achieve their goals.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Linda Townsend's presentation on The Importance of Feedback

On May 13th, Linda Townsend, Principal, Townsend Coaching Partners, gave a valuable presentation on The Importance of Feedback. She explained how feedback can be solicited and the ways in which feedback can help us. 

Feedback helps:

  • Uncover blindspots
  • Build self-awareness
  • Provide course correction
  • Improve performance
  • Enrich relationships
  • Boost self-esteem

She elaborated on what are the right questions to be asked and from whom one can solicit feedback. 

She mentioned a couple online feedback tools:
360Reach -

Thank you, Linda, for a great presentation!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Resources at Workforce Career Center

On April 22nd, Roy Lucas from the Workforce Central Career Center shared information about the resources available at the Center in Worcester. Here is a link to the website:

Thank you, Roy, for your presentation!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Developing Resilience for an Evolving World by Joe Ryan

This is the outline of Joe Ryan's presentation on April 8th. It was appreciated by all the attendees.

1. Let us reframe unemployment from something negative to an opportunity to reconsider your future and ALL of its possibilities.
a. Reinvention or adjustment?
b. The path to self-discovery
c. Happiness first!
2. The Futility of Cemented Beliefs and Actions
a. A radically changed job market requires radically changing perspectives
b. Have you radically changed or are you still engaging in the same principles, beliefs, dogmas, and actions?
c. The power of “Why?”
d. The natural resistance to change and its consequences
3. Recognize Your Belief System and Its Impact on Your Ability to Change & Progress
a. How your prism both guides and derails your success
b. Challenge your assumptions, inferences, and propensity to practice circular thinking.
c. Understand your inner gremlin and commit to its defeat.
4. Dip Your Big Tow in the Pool of Constructive Change
a. Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone!
b. Be your own architect of change instead of its victim.
c. How to take baby steps.
d. Keep a journal and measure your amazing progress!
e. Cleanse your environment of negative influences!
5. Tools
a. Discover assessment tools that can help you discover new and exciting possibilities!
b. Action Planning

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Mastering the Seven Wonders of the Social Media World by Alicia Williams

Alicia Williams, founder of Ariste Marketing, will present the second part of her workshop on the Seven Wonders of the Social Media World - Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Tumbler, Instagram and Pinterest.  She will equip you with the necessary tools to expertly navigate these seven most popular social media networks, optimize frequency of social posts, and consistently create effective messages that cultivate lasting engagement. 

Alicia has a very engaging manner and tailors her workshops to meet the needs of her audience. 

The Pursuit of Happiness by Adam Mintz

Attendees at Adam Mintz's presentation on March 11, The Pursuit of Happiness, How Embracing Positivity Can Change Your Life appreciated his advice and tips.

His tips to maximize your happiness were:
To borrow and tweak a saying from Gandhi, “BE the positive attitude you wish to see”.
• Listen to yourself. Are you the negative voice in your family, workplace, relationship? Do you see the world and your life circumstances as half empty? Try an alternative:
• Avoid criticizing yourself. Instead of putting yourself down, pick yourself up. Find a gentler and more helpful approach to your situation.
• Remember, you are in control of your reality. You have the ability to positively reframe any situation.
• Explore opportunities to socialize and connect with community.
• Pay it forward. Encourage and compliment others daily. Contribute to a charity, or better yet get directly involved with one.
• Rewire your brain. Remember Have – Enrich – Absorb – Link
• Practice an attitude of gratitude. Keep a journal for at least 21 days.
• Laugh, play, create and savor.
• Choose a “Positivity Mantra”
• Smile, it’s infectious.

He also shared some resources:
100 Simple Secrets of Happy People, David Niven, 2006
Authentic Happiness, Martin Seligman, 2002
Gratitude Works!, Robert Emmons, 2013
Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin , 2009
Hardwiring Happiness, Richard Hanson, 2013
The How of Happiness, Sonja Lyubomirsky, 2008
Power of Positive Thinking, Norman Vincent Peale, 1996
Shift Happens, Robert Holden, 2000
• University of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology Center of Authentic Happiness,

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Stories We Choose To Tell by Sarah M. Kipp

Sarah M. Kipp has over twenty years of experience as a writing coach, educator, and speaker. She has coaching certificates from the International Coach Federation and the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). In 2007, Sarah founded Express Yourself Write, a coaching and advising firm for leaders. Check out her wesbite,

On February 25th, Sarah addressed WIN participants and spoke on the topic, The Stories We Choose To Tell. She began by posing the questions:
To whom do we tell our stories?
She urged participants to notice the stories they tell themselves; the stories they tell others and what draws them to other people's stories. 

Remember that you are telling a story when you are attending an interview or interacting with people. It's important to pay attention to Intentionality, Content and Authenticity. 
Intentionality - What kind of impression do we want to create on our listeners?
Content - Show, instead of tell. Highlight your positive traits with examples or anecdotes.
Authenticity - Convey that you are genuine by your body language, eye contact, passion and the aura that you exude.

Sarah's engaging presentation gave participants a chance to reflect and rethink their strategies while interacting with their coworkers, family members or strangers. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

"Creating a Winning Resume" - Presentation by Jesse Sherwood

Jesse Sherwood has held the position of Manager, Financial Services with Prudential Financial, Greater New England Financial Group since 1995. He gave an excellent presentation on How to Create a Winning Resume. 
He listed the important components of a resume:
Header: Name, Address, Phone number, E-mail
Objective: Without using the word Objective, state your objective - a concise statement of what you want to do
Summary of Qualifications: focus on experience, areas of expertise and professional skills 
Employment History: Company names, dates of employers and titles
Responsibilities and results achieved
Additional relevant information, such as certifications, licenses, languages you speak etc

A resume's purpose is to get you a face-to-face interview. A one-page resume is ideal; if you have two pages, highlight the salient points on the first page. Jesse went over the two kinds of resumes - functional and chronological. Create a functional resume if your experience has been gained in different, unconnected jobs. Use a chronological resume if you are applying for a position in highly traditional fields. Lots of tips that the attendees appreciated. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy 2015 - 2 exciting workshops in January

Two Work Initiative Network (WIN) workshops in January at the Shrewsbury Public Library, 214 Lake Street, Shrewsbury

Seven Wonders of the Social Media World (Social Media 101) by Alicia Williams- Wed, Jan 14, 6:30-8 PM
Facebook. Twitter. LinkedIn. Pinterest. Google+. Tumblr. Instagram. The Seven Wonders of the Social Media World. You've heard of them. You've been told 'your business should be on social media.' But you're unconvinced, overwhelmed, or stuck at square one. Alicia Williams explains why a social media presence is vital to modern business success, demystifies and differentiates these Seven Wonders (the seven most popular social media networks today), and determines which channels are essential for your company.

Mastering the Seven Wonders (Social Media 102) by Alicia Williams- Wed, Jan 28, 6:30-8 PM

You've learned to distinguish the Seven Wonders of the Social Media World (if you attended the WIN session on January 14th) and established your company's social media presence, but you're unsure how—exactly—to continuously and successfully market your business in the social world. In Mastering The Seven Wonders, Alicia Williams arms you with the necessary tools to expertly navigate these seven most popular social media networks, optimize frequency of social posts, and consistently create effective messages that cultivate lasting engagement.

To register for the Jan 14 workshop, please click here.
To register for the Jan 28 workshop, please click here