East Bay Job Support Organizations – first in a series

The East Bay is blessed with several existing job networking support organizations committed to helping people find their next jobs. They serve people who have been frequent victims of layoffs over the years to the person who has been with their company for 25 years and now finds they have just been cast adrift and don’t know where to turn.

The first in this series about the various organizations highlights Walnut Creek’s Experience Unlimited, Experience Unlimited (EU) is a no-fee career resource center and job search networking group for business and technical professionals in the San Francisco Bay Area. EU is sponsored by the California Employment Development Department (EDD) and supported by EU volunteers.

It’s a well established group and expertly run by President Glen Zamanian with occasional help from past President Tony Friday. There is a representative from EDD to answer any questions from the members about current benefits, policies and changes with Unemployment insurance. Mainly, this Contra Costa Chapter is run completely by very helpful and knowledgeable volunteers.

Each week a speaker is featured to talk on various topics regarding being in transition. A recent topic was on financial survival tactics while in transition.

An interesting difference from some of the other groups is that membership in EU requires a minimum of 16 hours per month of attending meetings, joining committees, and volunteering, or giving back. There is a “give-to-get” focus, common in many of the other groups.

People who attend often find the experience very motivating and uplifting, especially when people tell of their success in landing a job and how they went about it. The exchange of ideas and strategies to find and get a resume in front of the hiring managers are creative and, even after an interview the position is not offered to them, their confidence level is much higher and willing to keep going and trying new ways to stand out.

The members are very welcoming to new people coming in and the support is unconditional. Long term friendships are often a result of this community of job seekers. Those who haven’t attended may find a new way to land their next job with a strong encouragement and safety net of this terrific organization.

* What: Experience Unlimited
* When: Tuesdays 9:00 – 9:30AM: Informal Networking, 9:30 – 12:00: General Meeting /Orientation & Speaker or Activity
* Where: 74 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek, CA 94596 – Congregation B’nai Shalom
* If You Go: Sign up as a new member so you can be introduced.
Next week: CPC Job Connections in Danville.

By the way, you can see my columns on career coaching and transitions at SF Examiner.com.

JP McDermott is a financial services and insurance advisor in Walnut Creek, CA. specializing in career transitions. He is also a career and financial coach, a freelance writer on career coaching with SF Examiner.com, and has been volunteering his time and experience to various non-profit, service and civic organizations.
JP lives in Danville with his wife Candy.

Check out his LinkedIn profile http://www.linkedin.com/in/jpmcdermott
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