Written by Marty Allison
Jessica Pierce, Executive Director of Career Connectors
Jessica welcomed everyone to the event at Central Christian Church in Gilbert, AZ. She provided the Twitter information of @CareerConnected to connect with Career Connectors via Twitter. She noted that there were some layoffs in the Phoenix area over the past few weeks so she hoped that any attendees impacted by those circumstances could connect with resources. Jessica announced that Coder Camps of Scottsdale is sponsoring Career Connectors events for the rest of the year.
Dayna Mathews, Career & Personal Branding Strategist
Dayna opened up by comparing who she was in 2010 with who she is today in 2016. Six years ago, she was a new college graduate relocating from a Minnesota town of 315 people to the Phoenix metro area. Her job put her in situations outside of her comfort zone where she would need to talk about herself. A divorce got her out of the wrong relationship and things are very different today (beyond the recent name change to Dayna Ciarfalia).
Behind the change for Dayna was hard work, determination and PURPOSEFUL action. LinkedIn and other social media helped her become successful. When her job took her outside of her comfort zone, she learned skills in how to network, which helped her with her later career.
Choose 3 words that say how you want others to see you.
When it comes to personal branding, it is incredibly important to be AUTHENTIC. You don’t need to be anyone other than who you are (and you don’t need to present yourself as perfect). You should be the same in-person and online. You need to DECIDE what you want to be known for, what problems you want to solve. Once you make this decision, then others are better able to support you. PUBLISH & PROMOTE YOURSELF, realizing “I deserve to promote myself.” People cannot give you credit if you don’t promote yourself. A good tip is to write a relevant article for you industry on LinkedIn. Stay CONSISTENT. Find a way to add value to the experience of others in your field on a regular basis, such as through a monthly article, which builds your credibility.
Your personal brand applies to several areas.
- LinkedIn – Tell your story, build credibility, tell what you do best, and tell the reader any action that you want them to take.
- Resume – Easy on the eyes with clean formatting, alignment, one single font, minimal bold. Write a personally branded profile section at the top and it is okay to add a pop of color. Speak to your accomplishments.
- Appearance – Dress to stand out, not to blend in. Always look your best, with an updated wardrobe that fits and has consistency. (Is there something branded about your look… would you be known for something with your purse, shoes, socks?)
Have a strategy. VISUALIZE where you want to be. Imagine the outcome. Don’t ‘wing it’ or everyone will see a different version of you. Be purposeful and intentional. When job-searching, spend time networking with people, not job boards.
Krista Lynch, Talent Acquisition Partner
Krista shared that CVS Health helps people on their path to better health, which is something that she sees in every part of the organization. This includes several different workforce initiatives, such as community education and training, as well as, summer youth hiring initiatives. Locally, there are call center opportunities in Chandler and Phoenix and corporate opportunities in Scottsdale. Within the next 12-18 months additional opportunities will become available, especially in finance with higher consideration given for those with health care experience.
Melissa Boillot, HR Manager
Melissa was at her first Career Connectors event and received a warm welcome. She explained that DISH is looking for people who take calculated risks, are energetic, intelligent and need to achieve. The core values in the DISH culture are Pride, Adventure and Winning. When faced with a challenge, the answer in finding a way to move forward is not ‘no,’ but ‘how.’ This mindset has lead to Sling TV as a product targeting cord-cutting television viewers. The company has several opportunities in Arizona, with its headquarters in Colorado.
JD Hasna, Director of Talent Acquisition
JD received a warm welcome for being at his first Career Connectors event since moving to Phoenix this past summer. He provided background information on Freedom Financial starting after one of the founders was negotiating a way to return $3000 worth of Day Trading software that he would not use. After negotiating a way to escape that debt, there was an inspiration to assist other people in need of negotiating their way out of similar financial challenges. A typical client with Freedom Financial Network has $58,000 as annual income with $38,000 in debt. There are currently three locations in Arizona, hiring approximately 110 employees per month as they continue to grow.
It was shared that Coder Camps will be sponsoring Career Connector events for the next few months. Jason spoke prior to the keynote presentation, sharing information about Coder Camps. The organization began about 3 years ago in Houston, Texas and has grown to include a campus in Scottsdale, Arizona. Coder Camps offer 12-week long boot camps on becoming a web developer, with courses running each weekday from 8:30 AM through 5:30 PM as one of the formats to complete the program. Once a camp is successfully completed, graduates may attend any future courses free of charge. Jason shared the success of the program, with 76% of graduates being employed within 90 days of graduating.
Jian Boldi, Financial Advisor
Jian shared 10 Tips for Your Finances During Career Transition.
- Understand your unemployment benefits. (Apply at AZ DES)
- Do not forget to keep paying taxes.
- Deduct job-hunting expenses. (professional resume writing, relocating 50 miles for a similar position)
- Go back to school to advance skills or learn something new.
- Become underemployed. (Possibly in a different field from prior work experience)
- Budget, Budget, Budget. (Jian has budget worksheets he offered to share)
- If age 55 or older, there is an option where you can take penalty free money from your IRA.
- Purchase health insurance with your IRA funds. (COBRA can be very costly)
- Consider reversing a contribution made to your IRA.
- Ask for help.
Joe Rostowsky, Director of Site Operations
New Horizons and other educational resources at Career Connectors are in place to help job seekers. Joe spoke about his own career path moving from IT to training to sales involving four consecutive layoffs. He discussed the WIOA grant being Federal funding set aside for learning opportunities of unemployed and underemployed individuals. It is common that people are not aware of WIOA as a funding opportunity, so Joe challenged everyone to find out about this and explain this to at least one other person.
Jessica Pierce closed the event with some important reminders. First, the DISC assessment is available as a resource. Second, for those who had a professional photograph taken, the photos will be posted online here. Also, for anyone still in need of the 2014-2015 edition of the Phoenix Business Journal Book of Lists, the quantity available is nearly gone. Finally, due to the holidays in November and December, Career Connector meetings around the holidays will be rescheduled. The next event in Gilbert will be on Tuesday November 8 instead of the 4th Tuesday of the month.