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Reflections on The REAL Job Search Workshop

Trying to decipher your career path is tough in a field where professional growth is often shrouded in mystery. After a venting session about following all the rules and still not finding a job, fellow EPIP steering committee member Tiauna George and I decided to learn the secrets to getting noticed.

We organized a workshop on August 3, 2011 called, “The Real Job Search” hosted at the James Irvine Foundation office in San Francisco. In an attempt to uncover all the secrets to getting a great job, Tiauna and I incorporated professional advice from Dalya Massachi as well as peer advice from current and former EPIP steering committee members Angie Chen, Phuong Quach and Adam Badwound.

In the first part of the workshop, we invited Dalya Massachi, author or “Writing to Make a Difference: 25 Powerful Techniques to Boost Your Community Impact” to discuss tips on the key pieces of a job search: A cover letter and resume. She explained that these key pieces are often like a well wrapped present, with the cover letter as the wrapping and the resume as the gift or content. In the same way a thoughtful gift takes into consideration the recipient’s interests and needs, a well written letter and resume entice a hiring manager because they are geared specifically to the job and organization under consideration. Dalya’s advice helped me get an interview for a great position!

 In part two of the workshop, Angie Chen, Phuong Quach and Adam Badwound shared their secrets as peers to getting great jobs in philanthropy and development in the Bay Area. Among the many pieces of sage advice, the three panelists agreed that networking (in all the various forms) is key to finding and considering great opportunities. The panelists seemed to share an uncanny ability to talk to anyone, and attributed their networking skills to making formal and informal connections across sectors. Not surprisingly, our panelists sited EPIP as a viable way to meet new people and establish relationships! Angie, Phuong and Adam also relied on mentors to help them navigate their respective job searches. Building genuine relationships positioned our panelists to navigate the mysteries of job searching.   

Tiauna and I were excited to meet over 30 participants in our workshop last week. This demonstrates a great need for connection and resources about what it means to grow as new professionals. Thank you to everyone who attended!

-Abby Nathanson    

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