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Empowering Today's Professionals (ETP) in the News

Media: How ETP Members Land Jobs Quicker

Rod talks to WBLS radio personality, Dr. Bob Lee about running your career as a business   View Rod Colon ABC-TV Interview Sharing Job Search Tips   ETP founder, Rod Colon co-hosts Your Career is Calling radio show with Frank Kovacs, founder of TheBreakfastClubNJ.com   ETP CEO, Rod Colon explains how to Win the Race for 21st Century Jobs   New Jersey Jewish News highlights Rod Colon on Coping with hard times In an anxious job market

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  • October 02, 2010 4:57 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    A snippet introduction of the ETP Jersey Shore Networking Group's history published on their team blog, training video on how to use the ETP Career Management Swiss Army Knife web browser application and introduction of interview Rod Colon previously did with Dr. Bob Lee on Bronxnet cable station.  View entry in NY Daily News
  • September 30, 2010 4:41 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Read original article on Rider University web site

    Interactive Talk Show Highlights Sunday Mornings on 107.7 The Bronc Not so long ago, job-seekers and other career-minded professionals used to pore over the Sunday classifieds in search of that next position, the one that might take them to the next level of business.

    Now, career-climbers can simply tune into 107.7 The Bronc, the on-campus radio station at Rider University, on Sunday mornings at 8 a.m. for an new and interactive call-in program entitled Your Career is Calling: Your Weekly Appointment for Career Choices, Decisions and Success. The one-hour show, hosted by Frank Kovacs ’84 and Rod Colon, debuted on September 19 around the topic of “Building, Tracking and Maintaining Your Network.” It’s a subject particularly close to the heart of Kovacs, a 1984 Rider graduate who is the founder and CEO of The Breakfast Club NJ, a 3,000-member networking group established to promote career growth, special networking and help people in career transition.

    “Radio was a logical next step for us,” explained Kovacs, who founded Breakfast Club NJ in the wake of the September 11 attacks to help restore what he calls “a semblance of order” to the lives of myriad professionals who, during that time of economic and financial uncertainty, suddenly found themselves on the job market after years of relative security.

    “So many people were out of tune with the current ways of the market,” said Kovacs, who co-hosts the show with Colon, CEO of The ETP (Empowering Today’s Professionals) Network. “They hadn’t looked for a new job in 20 years, and suddenly had to represent themselves again.”

    For years, Kovacs had been a senior manager at a major New Jersey Bank, and had seen corporate culture shape the role of people in his role – and not always for the better.

    “In the earlier part of my career, a huge part of managing was the career management of the people who reported to them,” he explained. “In many cases, the focus on that had lessened a great deal, but I had always prided myself on developing people along the way.”

    Fueled by this passion for steering careers in the right direction, Kovacs began his small networking club, meeting once a month in accessible, central locations. It has since grown by leaps and bounds, incorporating social media like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to expand his base of professional contacts.

    “Job-hunting is a game of inches,” said Kovacs, who estimates that 85 percent of jobs are obtained as the result of networking. “If we can give them that little edge, we remain vital.”

    Your Career is Calling is the next step in Kovacs’s commitment to area networking, and he calls his partnership with Rider and 107.7 The Bronc a key opportunity to expand his reach. “I think we’ll introduce ourselves to a whole new audience, in addition to the people who we’re already in touch with through The Breakfast Club NJ,” he said. Your Career is Calling can be heard on the FM dial, as well as online at http://www.rider.edu, either live on Sunday mornings or anytime via podcast.

    Other topics to follow this season include “Run Your Career as a Business,” “The Hidden Job Market,” and How to Start a Conversation.” Kovacs and Colon will welcome guests in studio and take callers to discuss the day’s topic, as well as other career, employment and networking questions. Listeners can reach the studio at 877-900-1077.

    Kovacs hopes Your Career is Calling enjoys the same success as The Breakfast Club NJ.

    “It’s a good feeling when we see our people helping each other,” he said.

    Learn more about The Breakfast Club NJ at: http://www.thebreakfastclubnj.com

    Learn more about The ETP Network at http://www.etpnetwork.com

  • September 26, 2010 5:08 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    by Susan Velasquez
    Read original article
    View article slide show

    Rod Colon started his organization Empowering Today’s Professionals in 2004 with the core values of wanting to advance professionals worldwide and is committed to delivering integrity, respect, responsibility and compassion to its members. Today the organization consists of 13 million LinkedIn professionals and thousands of members, and they continue to develop teams globally to assist members with their networking and career management programs.

    Rod has used his 26 years experience as a corporate human resources management insider, outside agency recruiter and professional networker to help build his career management and coaching organization. As mentioned on his website etpnetwork.com , “I have in-depth knowledge of international staffing, recruiting and networking which gives me the ability to both coach and consult with today’s professionals and with executives around the world. I’ve discovered some of the more obscure pitfalls which trap people when they seek new jobs. I didn’t just want to help people get close to their next job, I also wanted to help them nail it down and develop a long-term strategy for career management.”

    In conjunction with their organization Rod Colon and collaborator Chip Hartman released their first book “Win the Race for 21st Century Jobs” with their second book currently in the works. Win the Race helps professionals with how to build, track and maintain their network, the interview and negotiations process, the 7 step job search methodology, being a part of social networking, attitude and behavior and even breaking away from the pack once they have landed their job. Five goals his organization has for its members include: securing a job you love and pays well, building a network of 200 plus professionals, having multiple sources of income, having a career backup plan and becoming a networking leader.

    Starting Sunday night, and every Sunday at 8pm, on 107.7FM The Bronc, Rod Colon will host a one hour radio show offering career coaching, taking your calls, discussing networking etiquette, the interview process and other ways to land your dream job.

    Rod spoke to us about how he got started, how he stays inspired while constantly inspiring others, and how schools can help change the mentality and direction of future professionals for today’s global workplace.

    With all the inspiration you impart, how do you personally keep inspired?

    This is what I love and I am not shy about it. In 8th grade when I was growing up I had an autograph book. I had people sign it such as parents, friends, and whoever was my mentor or mentors. My mentors included Martin Luther King, Jesus and Gandhi. At 13 years old my parents were both factory workers and I hung around with mom a lot. She would take me to rosary group and I would hear about all the issues with the women in the group. This made me hope and pray that when I got older I would be happy in life. I learned, and also through prayer I knew early on that I needed to make a difference. I didn't know how or where but I knew it. My mom was a very big influence and it became about making a difference. She came from Puerto Rico and neither of my parents had high school diplomas. I took on a lot of her dreams and I went from there. She loved politics and watched the CBS news. We still talk every day and she lives through me, and this explains how it all started. Mom and dad were both unemployed for 9 months, at the same time in 1978, and I saw the fights, dad crying, and they were very tough times for our family. Friends from our church and also neighbors helped dad find a job at night and got mom an opportunity working in a factory. At that time that was their network, so I learned the importance of networking. What I also realized was the hurt and pain that no one sees when someone is unemployed, such as the effect it has on the kids and the whole support system in the family.

    So when I help professionals and talk about what motivates them, we also talk about the lack of money, the fights, the stress and I understand all that from my own experiences. It is stressful for the parents but also for the kids with what they face and hear, and what they all have to endure. I tell them I am not here to share lolly pops and flowery stories because I am not that type of coach. I help them execute a plan to become their own CEO. They are going to lean on me but I am tough. They are going to manage their career in a different way, which is like business ownership. You join the group with $75 and with this you make an investment. You get several services and a network of contacts. The investment is from your board of directors, which is your family, and you answer to them. I tell them to work as CEO of themselves, and their loved ones have engaged their services to help the leader be great. I am very direct and diplomatic and I use my human resource background, but I am also to the point from a business perspective. I don’t want to hear excuses or complaints and I am doing everything I can to make a shift in their mentality. It is not a matter of who is going to do it for me, but the individual alone is a business and they provide great services. They learn to believe that they have people that depend on them and they are accountable to those people, and also that they are their own boss. Finding the job is only the beginning of the process. They also learn to develop skills, determine where the market is going to be in 5 years down the road and generate other sources of income. For many once they land the job they think they've arrived, but really they are just beginning.

    How did you start your quest to help people; what was the catalyst that made you realize you had a gift?

    I have been talking about the Me Inc. business-owner’s concept for years. It’s about people looking out for each other and you have this powerful network. They are helping each other out because they all have common goals and each has their own business. I worked at JP Morgan for 13 years and it all started as a one day assignment. It was about giving the company great service and a male temp wearing a 3 piece suit and comporting himself the way most people don’t on short assignments. So that short assignment turned into 2 weeks and then a long term assignment. They then trained me in technology and human resources and I went from there to 13 years with the company. I saw an organization that took an individual and allowed them to grow with all their benefits. They took a risk in an individual and this was the best of corporate America. Now we are seeing the worst of corporate America and global competition. So for an individual now the rules have changed and we must change as well. I have a human resource background and I worked at Deutsche Bank and Banker's Trust, but found I was not able to impact individuals the way I thought I could within an organization, even in a HR role. I had to make a decision to leave because I wanted to help people, so I had to do it on my own and with my own business.

    I started a recruiting practice from home and with my ability to be a good recruiter I also had to be a better teacher. I taught people how to interview better and taught them as a group, which I realized was more effective. Through my love of helping and teaching I began to see this shift. So I began to tinker with different methods and thought if I help an individual think this way, will it be more effective? I found that when an individual sees themselves as a product with different departments, they believe in it more. As a vendor you have to understand the quality of your work, your management team, what is expected and how to exceed that. The ones that “get it” are great employees. They are also looking for what is down the road, they stay educated with whatever is not in conflict with their current positions and they are always thinking business like. Companies may like this, but you should never put all your eggs in one basket with one employer and then never look at it. Your client is going to cut costs and it is their right and their duty, but it is also your right and your duty to continue to do, learn and grow for your own best interests. We are a business as well, and we have to keep nurturing that and protecting that business, which is Me Inc.

    We partner with many organizations and we are moving towards becoming non-for profit with volunteers. When people think of their careers as a business and begin to play the game they realize success is in the mirror and you have to believe that. There is a lot of blame out there but then I ask an individual “Tell me, what does it feel like to be the CEO of your own business?” and I tell them, “You are now in charge, you are the boss, and you have a great service to provide.” The more wisdom you have and the more you feel empowered, the more you will give of your knowledge and experience. Your career is your business and the buck stops with you. Understanding what you do well and what you have to improve on, are things I have been focusing on and teaching for 6 years. You have to deliver great service and I have been helping our students understand that, and also network before they get into the job market. They have to understand the new rules in this global marketplace as it’s a paradigm shift. So my students have to change for themselves with this global economy and they will be competing at different levels. Many are not excited about selling themselves but you have to become confident.

    Much of what you talk about in your recent book “Win the Race for 21st Century Jobs” is corporate related, but clearly stems from the individual mentality.

    The business world is like thinking about Santa Claus. My students say “This is what I believed it should be,” and then one day they are laid off and they realize there is no loyalty anymore. They had been told something by their parents and they have been taught a certain way. They start a path in their 20's and 30's, and at some point they get the message that there is no Santa Claus. They are not getting the “rewards” they expected from corporations, and no one has taught them another way. We are now teaching another system. For my students, it is a realization that they thought they would be able to avoid the corporate “virus” and they couldn’t.

    It is becoming more competitive out there and we all know that. However, do you see our schools working or at least looking at the right direction?

    They are all well-intentioned by and large, but it is difficult to teach what they don't know. It is difficult to teach a new model or way of doing things. Would you have non-attorney's teaching law school? Would you have non-medical doctors or non-health care professionals teach medical school, or non-nurses teach nursing? Why do they leave running a business, which is you, to people that don't really know the issues in today's market? They are all well intentioned but with insufficient information and they can’t teach a student how to run their own business. This is a new frontier, and where in your life are you able to see a new industry blossom, and that industry is running your career as a business. You need services and a network to run everything effectively. The business world will be vastly different in 20 years. I teach all over the world and have students in China and Japan. I have helped people land jobs in China using my system, as my system is geared for a global market. We are working with universities and corporations using our 7 step system. We like the win/win system and having a very positive relationship with employees. We teach corporations how to continue to promote and excite their employees and work collaboratively with them. We need to be mature as to how our business relationship with our employer is and not to take things personally. You provide a service and the employer provides an income. You do the best you can, but any loyalty or promises to you are non-existent. A system that is lose/lose doesn't work. You’re the vendor providing a service, but treat the client with respect. There needs to be a mutual business partnership but there is no ideal business model.

    What advice would you give a high school student today?

    I would tell them “You are running a business”. What does that really mean? You have to market yourself and be a certain way to get ahead. So they would take that and understand that everything you do makes people perceive you a certain way. There is risk involved in presenting yourself badly. I speak in many countries and I bring everyone back to a business model that everyone understands. It is my stamp to bring the best quality out of everyone. We get them in the role of the owner so they see it all in perspective. They want to be able to make their own decisions so we share with them the options. We show them the risks and perceptions in the market place.

    What other projects are you working on or what future plans do you have?

    We want to train as many people as possible and help them globally to manage their careers as a business. That is extremely important. I am writing the second book and doing motivational talks. We are reiterating, in this second book, to highlight what is the business of Me Inc. and what does it mean to be the CEO. We'll explain what it means to find work in a more efficient way. Chip Harman is my collaborator and we help professionals that are looking to find work.

    It is really all about faith in one's self, faith in business, faith in people, and faith in the global business program. This theme is for people in mid-career that don't believe in Santa anymore but this means that it is not finished for them. What I am saying is, we are this group that is like the Statue of Liberty with the torch. We are an organization that is understanding and it doesn’t matter where you are in your career, you are welcome, as long as you are willing to stake your claim. We are that organization that says “we don't care where you have been and we understand what you have been through” but come, engage, and open your mind to learn. It’s not just about landing a career but helping them to manage their career with like-minded individuals globally. If they are in a game, this is just the first half and especially for someone in their 50's who needs to reclaim that piece of themselves. Your years of experience have no relevance in this market. We teach people to change how they should pitch themselves and have it match the client’s needs. An example is, if someone has 30 years experience in a particular business and has been doing X for 30 years, but the client only wants to know what they want them to do, and can they do that particular job for them. We help our clients with interview skills, selling themselves, and showing the client what they want. Most people were not taught that from a business rationale and submitting a resume should be like a business opportunity. I am an open architect and once people work with me, they will get the message.

    Slideshow: Rod teaches how to Win the Race for 21st Century Jobs

  • September 06, 2010 12:38 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The poor reputation of many job-hunting services should make you pause before you invest in one, whatever the cost.

    Job hunting is marketing, pure and simple. Scour the field for the essential marketing component in the background behind a person offering a product or service. If that person landed jobs and turned down other offers, you know that you’ve found a good source. One question will give you your answer.

    How do you know when you need a service of some kind?
    Read full article
    . . .

    (please post a comment at the end of the article
  • August 06, 2010 8:14 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Baseball and Networking is the New American Pastime

    The economy is still a buyers market for hiring companies. In between interviews and rejections, baseball is still the favorite past time in the United States. With organizations that helped many land jobs, two well known networking umpires join forces to give their members a chance to meet recruiters during Somerset Patriots baseball game.

    New York, NY August 6, 2010 -- The buzz abounds about networking with friends and business associates to jump start careers and get job interviews.  By the same token, nothing puts the economic blues on hold when Americans get together to watch a baseball game.  On August 29, 2010 the Somerset Patriots are hosting a pregame career networking event. Organized by Frank Kovacs, founder of The Breakfast Club NJ, in association with Empowering Today's Professionals, founded by Rod Colon, job seekers will be able to meet hiring recruiters.

    With gates opening at 2:00PM this career networking event will take place on the concourse of the TD Bank Ballpark, home of the Somerset Patriots, located at 860 East Main Street, Bridgewater, NJ.  Then all attendees can enjoy a Somerset Patriots game in upper box seats.  Patrick McVerry, General Manager with the Somerset Patriots said, "Working with The Breakfast Club NJ we are glad to host this event with a specially discounted price of $7 per ticket. This will be a very affordable family day out for both networking and watching our team play against the Maryland Blue Crabs."  Nissan USA will be giving away camouflage Patriots hats to the first 2,000 Fans in attendance.  Tickets can be purchased by calling Ken Greco at (908)252-0700 X223.

    "The Breakfast Club NJ (http://www.thebreakfastclubnj.com) started simply by inviting some friends who were in transition, post 9/11, to breakfast.  Members learn about the process and methodology around a job search.  We have honed this message over the years to help those in transition with career management needs" states Founder, Frank Kovacs

    In almost 10 years The Breakfast Club NJ (TBCNJ) has blossomed to now over 3,000 members and Empowering Today's Professionals (ETP) track record in helping hundreds land jobs in the last year alone.  Frank Kovacs and Rod Colon, along with other individuals in other networking groups have helped thousands of individuals find jobs. Some of the supporting networking groups include TENG, FENG, MENG, NJSEG, PSENG, MIS NETWORK ASSOCIATION, SPNG, CNG.

    "Partnering with Frank Kovacs and The Breakfast Club NJ, Empowering Today's Professionals is looking forward to this August 29, 2010 event as an awesome opportunity for many career professionals in transition to network with recruiters and develop new reciprocal business relationships" says Rod Colon, ETP Founder and author of Win the Race for 21st Century Jobs.


    It is expected to be a good turn out for people in transition, with other professionals interested in career management and several networking groups from the New York / New Jersey area are expected to attend. Area groups leaders will also come together for a very exciting, first of it's kind, day at the Somerset Patriots ballpark.   This is not just an ordinary day to only enjoy a great day at Americas Favorite Pastime, but also bring their resumes and business cards and mingle with other networkers to connect with some of the best recruiters in the industry.

    Who would of thought two guys, like Frank Kovacs and Rod Colon, could make such huge strides with helping so many people by sharing knowledge gained over 10 years of volunteering their time.  Despite corporate downsizings and tough economic times Frank and Rod have successfully made achievements for their part in putting America back to work.

    About TheBreakfastClubNJ
    Our group was created to promote social networking, career growth and to help people in career or job transition.  Meetings are held on the 2nd Saturday of each month at the Days Hotel Conference Center East Brunswick, 195 Route 18 South - NJ Parkway/I-95S Exit 9, East Brunswick, NJ 08816. We meet downstairs in the Middlesex Conference Room. There is a fee of $10.00 to cover the cost of the room. The meetings start at 8am but try to arrive between 7:30 - 7:45 for networking. .  Email: info[AT]TheBreakfastClubNJ[DOT]com  Tel: (732)310-2500 Web: www.TheBreakfastClubNJ.com

    About Empowering Today’s Professionals
    The mission of ETP is to encourage, train, support, mentor and advise fellow CEOs of ME, Incorporated in all aspects of defined responsibilities to their personal Board of Directors.  ETP's proven education programs and methodologies guide each member through "HOW" to specifically land a job and develop self empowering career management goals.   Email: Membership[AT]ETPnetwork[DOT]com  Tel: 732-367-5580  Purchase Win the Race for 21st Century Jobs at www.ETPnetwork.com

    Frank Kovacs
    The Breakfast Club NJ
    Email: fkovacs[AT]comcast[DOT]net


  • May 18, 2010 8:30 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

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    For Immediate Release

    May 18, 2010

    Author, Motivational Speaker Rod Colon Hosts Seminar With BlueClaws June 15th

    LAKEWOOD, NJ - The Lakewood BlueClaws are pleased to welcome Rod Colon, author and international motivational speaker, to FirstEnergy Park on Tuesday, June 15th for a presentation entitled "Manage Your Career as The CEO of ME, Inc."

    Colon, who wrote the recently-published "Win the Race for 21st Century Jobs" will lead a workshop before the game. Each guest will receive a game ticket, 90-minute picnic buffet at the game and a copy of the book, as well as a meet-and-greet and networking opportunity with Colon and the other guests.

    "Just like 21st century technology is different from 20th century technology, so too is the 21st century job market different from the 20th century job market," said Colon. "There are new tools and new things everyone needs to know, and we hope to dive in to that at our seminar.

    "We thank the BlueClaws for their support in putting on what should be a fun and informative event."

    Fans can arrive at the ballpark on June 15th beginning at 4:30 for networking and registration. Colon's presentation will begin at 5:00.

    The seminar will cover:

    • Networking: Learn to build, track, and maintain your network to keep the job search machinery running smoothly
    • CEO of ME, Inc.: Learn to think like a CEO and manage your job search and your career as a business
    • Value Proposition: Learn to make yourself the most attractive candidate to decision-makers
    • 7-Step Methodology: Learn how to follow a 7-step plan that leverages the power of advocates to help you get the interview

    Registration is $34.95 and includes and the seminar, networking opportunities, a copy of the book, and in-game picnic (which starts at 6:30, a half-hour before first pitch). For more information or to register, contact Josh Feinberg at 732-901-7000 ext 174 or jfeinberg@blueclaws.com, or click here to download a registration form.

    The Lakewood BlueClaws are in their tenth season of providing family fun and entertainment at the Jersey Shore. They have led the South Atlantic League in attendance in each year of existence.

    The team returns home on Thursday, May 20th, for an eight-game homestand. Tickets are on sale now at 732-901-7000 or online at BlueClaws.com.

    - BlueClaws -

    phone: 732-901-7000

  • April 28, 2010 3:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Being Nimble is Key to Survival in Job Market

    There is a difference between nimble and flexible. After landing a job, employees must be flexible to daily management priorities.  Whether employed or in a job search, being nimble requires continuous forward thinking to respond quickly to dynamic company or economic shifts.   One organization provides education programs that teach members to be nimble thinkers.

    Charlotte, NC April 28, 2010 -- Developing interdependent network relationships is a learned skill to remain agile in keeping your business options open.  With networking as a core foundation to accomplish this, Empowering Today’s Professionals (ETP) Network has established quite a track record helping hundreds of people land jobs in the last 12 months.

    With much success holding “self empowering” career management meetings in the New York and New Jersey area, ETP Network is expanding south into Charlotte, NC.   Led by ETP Network member and CEO of Gala Affairs by AtUrbest, Amanda Sherman, the ETP Charlotte Network Group will hold its 3rd meeting on April 29, 2010 at 6:00PM at Weeping Willow Fellowship Hall 2220 Milton Rd Charlotte, NC 28215.   “The fact that professionals and business owners are taught to be their own CEO of ME, Inc., success is more assured in the current economy. This is why I’m proud to be associated with ETP Network.  I look forward to hosting ETP Network CEO, Mr. Rod Colon as guest speaker at our meeting” says Ms. Sherman.

    Beyond college and MBA programs, knowing the approaches and etiquette for properly developing network relationships positions professionals to stay poised for reacting to unknown business changes.  “To empower our members to hit the ground running, our member services team bundles our book Win the Race for 21st Century Jobs as part of every membership package”, says Rod Colon, Founder and CEO of Empowering Today’s Professionals Network.  Rod further states “combining our weekly job search training calls with our proprietary 7 Step Job Search © allows members to multi thread advocates to facilitate scheduling job interviews quicker”.

    So being ready to adjust at a moment’s notice is really what nimble is about.  This can only be achieved by aligning oneself with a global organization, such as ETP Network.  The synergy of a network supporting each individual to succeed makes all the difference for ongoing success, no matter how economic factors impact corporations.  “Our secret weapon for keeping members nimble is our newly implemented ETP Network Angel program.  Our angels inside companies help ETP Network members to get placed at the head of the line for interviews. Our benefits package has proven to work for both career professionals and business owners. No other organization teaches members how to network. We do.” states Carl E. Reid, ETP Network Chief Operations Officer.

    About Empowering Today’s Professionals (ETP) Network
    The mission of ETP Network is to encourage, train, support, mentor and advise fellow CEOs of ME, Incorporated in all aspects of defined responsibilities to their personal Board of Directors. ETP's proven education programs and methodologies guide each member through "HOW" to specifically land a job and develop self empowering career management goals.  Email: membership@etpnetwork.com Tel:Web: www.etpnetwork.com 732-367-5580

    Phyllis Shelton, Public Relations Director
    iPower Global Solutions
    Tel: 646-201-6597
    Web: http://www.iPowerGS.com


  • April 27, 2010 7:43 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    By Alan Kotok

    Most of the networking advice on
    Science Careers helps expand connections and contacts outside your regular circles, which often means with people at other companies, institutions, or organizations.  This week on his blog, career coach and author Rod Colón recommends that you also pay attention to networks at your current employer. He provides a 10-item test to gauge the effectiveness of your internal networking. Read full article.
  • July 23, 2009 8:11 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Scotch Plains-Fanwood Patch

    by Jake Lynn
    Read original published article

    With the national unemployment rate creeping toward 10 percent, job seekers can use all they help they can get. Some found welcome support at a free networking seminar held Tuesday night at the JCC of Central New Jersey in Scotch Plains.

    Sponsored by the United Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey, as well as Elizabeth-based Jewish Family Services, the monthly program is held at the JCC as a way to help unemployed workers with their networking and job-searching techniques.

    Aaron and Laura Cohen, a married couple who moderate the group, use a 7-step job search methodology created by national career coach Rod Colon and his ETP Network (www.etpnetwork.com). The central tenets of networking emphasize the use of free online tools such as LinkedIn as a means to widen one’s group of friends, colleagues and potential employers all in one central database.

    The Cohens also stressed the philosophy of ‘paying it forward’ when it comes to helping others find work even if you don’t have a job yourself.

    “Networking is as much about giving as it is getting,” said Aaron Cohen. “Almost always, the most rewarding jobs come by word of mouth rather than on the Internet. But they won’t just fall from the sky. You need to help others in order to help yourself move forward.”

    The 25 attendees also learned of additional free resources that the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development provides, such as the Professional Services Group (PSG). PSG locations, which are scattered throughout the state, provide a comprehensive list of career services to job seekers and also help place workers with potential employers. The closest location to Scotch Plains and Fanwood is in New Brunswick. Call (732) 418-3304 for more information.

    The group, which was made up of both first-time job seekers and those with more than 25 years of experience from a variety of industries, learned the fine art of the ‘Elevator Pitch’.

    “Being able to succinctly explain your skills and the value one can bring to an organization in 30 seconds or less can make or break your chances of getting the job,” said the Cohens.

    For Bob, a project management specialist from Fanwood, this couldn’t hit any closer to home. He explained to the group that he’d secured several interviews over the past year. But since his line of work is specialized and he’d been working for the same company for nearly 30 years, he hasn’t been able to persuade hiring managers that he can convert his skills to a different line of work. In this economy, he expressed deep gratitude for groups like this that will hopefully help him become much more marketable.

    For more information on the Central New Jersey Networking Group, e-mail centralnjnetworkinggroup@gmail.com
  • June 02, 2009 9:24 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
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