Welcome to your first Regional Networking Group meeting! We want you to enjoy your participation in these meetings and insure that you benefit from your attendance.
To get the most out of these networking sessions, review the following guidelines:
- Each meeting will begin promptly at the designated time on the site schedule. Doors open 30 minutes before the meeting begins to provide a comfortable period for Sign-In, Informal Networking and 1-1 Speed Coaching Time. Take Advantage of this time to get settled and meet other attendees.
- As a Newcomer, you were asked to Pre-Register. You can attend as many meetings at as many locations as you like. If you do chose to attend meetings at more than one location, you need to register the first time you attend at the different location.
- This registration process is very important. The information provided will be used to create a central contact list for regular communications with the group, as well as help your Group Leader (GL) and Co-Facilitator (CoF) to track the progress and success of this program. Any and all information collected on the on-line Registration Form and Meeting Sign-In Sheet will be treated with the strictest confidentiality.
- As stated above, each session will commence PROMPTLY. Please be considerate of your fellow attendees – be prompt with your arrival. Late arrivals can be distracting to the attendees as well as the GL and CoF.
- These networking meetings are NOT social gatherings. Your GL has invested a great deal of preparation time in advance to make this a Professional and Productive businesslike environment. Your attire and demeanor should be reflective of a professional environment.
- Your GL and CoF are committed to creating and maintaining a Safe Environment for sharing information and ideas. Please be assured that any information which you provide, including any and all personal info requested on the Registration Form and Sign-In Sheet, as well as any thoughts, feelings or ideas, will not be shared with any person or entity outside of your Group. As the saying goes: “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”!
- Business casual attire is expected from each attendee. Respectful behavior and language are required (EG. no cuss words allowed!). As in any business meeting, please refrain from using your cell phone and of course ringers should be OFF!
- The underlying ‘Golden Rule’ of successful networking – in any venue – is the G2G RULE– You Need to Give to Get!! Be prepared to be open to sharing ideas and materials that may be helpful to the group. You will find a SHARE & CARE Board located near the Resource Table. Please share any interesting ideas, books, events, web sites, other networking meets, job search tips on this board!
- This is NOT a competition – to see who can get an interview or job offer first! The essence of Networking is to develop reciprocal, symbiotic relationships – to Care and Share with your fellow attendees.
- As a Newcomer, remember how you felt the very first time you walked in the room to attend your first meeting! As a Returnee, be welcoming to future Newcomers, help them with getting settled in and feeling comfortable. Introduce them to fellow group members.
- Each time you attend a meeting, you will be asked to introduce yourself to the group, ideally with a 30-Second Elevator Speech. Don’t be shy. We want to get to know you! You want others in your group to get to know you!
- This is a great opportunity and a safe environment to try out your elevator speech on the group. Practice will only improve your ability to use this all-important 30-second spiel and have ‘roll off your tongue’ in networking events and interviews.
- If you don’t have an Elevator Speech yet, don’t worry! This is the perfect place to start to create one. The first time around, you may only get as far as introducing yourself with a few comments. Listening to your fellow attendees, and guidance and input from your GL and CoF, will help you create a great 30-second elevator in the coming weeks. This will be a Work in Progress – with improvements at each meeting you attend.
- Your fellow attendees, with the guidance of the GL, will be encouraged to give you feedback on your elevator speech. Be open to critiquing – it can only help you make your speech better! And, be prepared to share thoughts and ideas with others about their speech as well; be kind and respectful when offering your critique.
- Networking is really all about developing Reciprocal Relationships. Keep your eyes and ears open for job leads, new resources, pertinent news on job market, interesting articles, relevant connections, job fairs, networking events etc that may be useful for other attendees. And, be prepared to share – this is not a competitive situation but one of reciprocity and symbiosis! We will always provide time for sharing Leads and Needs within the Group.
- Remember the G2G Rule – and remember that all attendees are struggling with same fears and challenges of job search just as you are!
- The GL and CoF are working hard behind the scenes to prepare meaningful and interesting “Today’s Topics” and related activities, as well as secure Guest Speakers. Be a Proactive Participant; it will help other attendees to participate as well. The greater the participation and interaction between attendees, the more beneficial these meetings will be to everyone in attendance.
- Each session will tackle a specific topic which is directly related to the job search process. Given the time allocation, your GL will only be able to hit the “tip of the iceberg” on each one of these session topics eg., resume, LinkedIn, interviewing etc. Our intent is to address the key elements of the topic and stimulate you to pursue each topic in greater detail, either on your own, with other group members, by attending other workshops or networking groups.
- You are encouraged to find a Job Search Buddy within your group, someone who has similar interests, goals, background, who you can meet with or talk to outside of our group meetings. This helps both of you to be accountable to your job search plan and weekly goals. You can work together on the ‘deliverables’ for the next session and help one another. This is a perfect time for you and others in your group to meet up and explore session topics in greater detail, perhaps attend a workshop or networking event together. This is a perfect venue to help, motivate, and support each. Remember our motto: G2G!
- The meeting room will be open for 30 minutes at the conclusion of the meeting. This is a great time to either get some personal One-on-One “Speed Coaching” from your GL (3-5 minutes/person) OR use the time to connect and Network Informally with other members who have similar interests and goals or the same job search challenges.
- Be positive and upbeat; enthusiasm begets enthusiasm. Again, this is a great opportunity to hone your networking skills when you have only a brief period of time to develop rapport and capture attention or a useful idea.
- During the Wrap-Up period (last 10 minutes of the meeting), you will be given an Evaluation Form and asked to complete. Completed forms will be collected by your CoF and reviewed by the GL and CoF to make sure that the sessions are on track to deliver the right content and materials.
- Your feedback is needed and greatly appreciated, whether positive or negative! We will be use Your Feedback to add new content, topics, hands-on activities and speakers to insure that we are addressing the needs of the attendees. Help make your Group Program even better!!
- Share your ideas with the GL and CoF on topics for future meetings that may be of interest to the group. Perhaps you read an article, met with someone or attended another networking event and learned something new and different that could be helpful to the group. Include any of these ideas in your Evaluation Form- we really do read them!
- We encourage you to visit the 50+ Program’s Website frequently. In addition to the Master Schedule and Master Meeting Calendar, we now have a Job Board on our site which is being updated frequently with job opportunities from age-friendly employers. We also have a Resource Page with lots of ideas and suggestions regarding career oriented books, events, web sites, volunteer opportunities [some offer a stipend!]. You will also find a Listing on the Session Topics and Guest Speakers for each site.
- We strive to make these meetings invaluable to your job search process and a great venue for networking with other job seekers. Each session will address a specific topic which is relevant to your job search. We want you to keep coming back! As a Returnee, please make any Newcomers Feel Welcome – remember how you felt the first time you came to one of these networking meetings!
- We want to hear about your Good News! If you have an interview coming up, or a final interview, or a job offer, or if you have landed a job, please let us know!! Share the good news with your GL. You will find a SUCCESS Board near the Resource Table. Write down your success; if you have an interview, which one is it in the process and which company! Sharing your Good News becomes an inspiration to others attending your group meetings.
- And we have a TESTIMONIAL Page on our website. When you land a job, we ask that you write a testimonial about your experience in attending our 50+ Job Seekers meetings, the positive impact it had on your job search, the positive impact your Group Leader had on you, etc! Your Group Leader can provide you with a template to guide you in writing your testimonial. Once again, sharing your success and Good News will give other 50+ Job Seekers hope and inspiration that they too will ultimately have a success in their job search.
- Once you will no longer be attending your group’s meetings, we ask that you take a few minutes to complete a short EXIT SURVEY . This exit survey is strictly confidential. Your feedback and input are incredibly important and invaluable to the continued growth and success of the 50+ program. Regardless of your reasons for no longer coming to meetings, we want to hear from you!
- At our meetings, you will begin to understand how important and essential that Networking is to a successful job search campaign. 85-90% of all jobs are found through networking! In addition, another factoid that’s related is that LinkedIn is the most powerful networking tool available – and it’s free! To that end, we have a dedicated LinkedIn Group: linkedin.com/in/susandkelly. Please join our LinkedIn group! It will only help accelerate your job search campaign! You can network with other members, gain access to employers who are also members, view their posting of jobs, read interesting articles, view videos related to job search and increase your connections on LinkedIn!
- Meeting Cancellation Policy: meeting cancellations will be based on the school cancellation policy of the town/city in which your Host COA is located. Meeting cancellations will be communicated by email by the CoF in a timely fashion. Please be sure to check your email if inclement weather is in the forecast!
In closing, I want to extend a personal welcome to you and congratulate you for coming to your first meeting, your first step towards finding your next career!
I wish you all the very best on your job search journey. And always remember that “The journey of 1000 miles begins with one step”- Laozi, Chinese Philosopher, Circa 604 BC.
Warm regards, Susan Drevitch Kelly. Program Developer and Director: email@example.com.