One measure of a successful event is the number of people who stay after it’s over and how long they stay to talk, network, and ask questions of the panelists and speakers. Yesterday’s event – Jump Start Your Job Search – hosted by St. Mary’s College Graduate School of Business Alumni and MassMutual had over 100 people attend the 4 hour event.
15 minutes after the event, all of the speakers were there and about 2/3 of the attendees. 30 minutes after the event, all of the speakers were still there and about 25 people remained. The feedback was very strong – even from veterans who had seen many of the speakers at other events – but the value, as reported by some, was having all of them together and the questions by Susan Dittmann, moderator of the first workshop along with questions from the audience, really uncovered new ideas and tactics.
Especially relevant was the first panel of Kim Litton, Lee Hecht Harrison Senior Career Coach and Career Management Professional, Tom Loarie, Co-Founder of St. Isidore’s Networking Group and Chairman & CEO of Mercator, a medical device company, and Dean Tracy, co-founder and Executive Director of CPC Job Connections.
Susan asked each of them several questions that generated many more questions from the group. Each brought a bit different perspective from their experience answering questions, but the overall effect was powerful. The questions could have continued far longer, but had to be cut short due to time.
Jud Walsh from the SF Business Times went through how to use the paper to generate business leads. As a research tool, he demonstrated page by page how to identify companies and business owners or leaders to contact for jobs (and hidden jobs) – a very creative approach.
Finally, Dennis Thompson, Executive Recruiter and Career Management Coach, in a very interactive and lively session, showed how to get an interview with the Queen of England… OK, if not the Queen, then at least Barack Obama, by being able to offer them something of value and using the 6 degrees of separation technique. He then translated this into working groups of 6, following a simple, yet powerful script to identify people others know at a target company, or people who may know people at that target company.
While the event ended at noon, several groups continued to stay together and share information. A very powerful close to the event. I mentioned that of the past two events at SMC targeting those in transition, virtually every speaker emphasized – in different, yet emphatic ways – the need to network to stand out from the millions of others who are unemployed. Susan Dittmann said that to be successful in your job search, you must do two things each week that are uncomfortable and one thing that terrifies you. This was also echoed by many of the speakers.
Thanks to each of the speakers for volunteering their time and experience in helping those in attendance!