Unplug, Ditch the Cell Phone, and Make Meaningful Connections

by Roberta - 1 Comment(s)

To say that I’m obsessive about LinkedIn wouldn't be far from the truth. I make it my business to convey to job hunters how crucial it is to have a snappy, completed profile, and write and deliver courses on the topic at the Calgary Public Library. So when I saw the title Link Out appear in our collection, my interest was tweaked.

It turns out that I heartily agree with Leslie Grossman and her premise that social media has it only partially right. That while it is a useful tool to reconnect and expand connections, only in-person and authentic one-one connections can truly build lasting, authentic, and powerful relationships. While not everything in the book is new, there are little gems and great action plans, especially for those of us who like lists. Case in point is her refresher course in etiquette:

  1. You had me at hello (look them in the eyes and make a positive first impression)
  2. Follow up Etiquette (do it right away)
  3. Lock down your cell phone (don’t be rude)
  4. Three strikes and you are out (remember people are busy and need reminders)
  5. Say thank you three times (don’t ever take your contacts for granted)
  6. Keep your entourage in the loop (keep them connected with their positive influence)
  7. Prove you can be trusted (do what you say you will do)
  8. Treat others how you would like to be treated (the golden rule)
  9. Pay it forward (focus on giving, not receiving)

All true and easy to set aside as life gets busy. And Ms. Grossman allays fears and networking anxieties with practical advice on quality over quantity of connections, how to break the process down, and (happily) how not to beat yourself up when you make mistakes or forget to send that thank you note.

Interestingly, this book aligns well with a recent article in Inc. Magazine, where author argues that traditional networking is dead, and to concentrate on quality not quantity.

And for those of you who want to get the ball rolling and put yourself out there, I'm really happy to announce that our Thursday evening Strategic Networking group is restarting on September the 5th at the Central Library. The flood of 2013 put the brakes on the group over the summer while the Library was closed, but we are all looking forward to meeting new faces and welcoming back old friends. Please stop by.

Bridge Over Troubled Water

by Roberta - 0 Comment(s)

While Calgary continues to be an attractive and potentially lucrative destination for foreign born workers, the road to finding a great job is not always easy. On top of adjusting to a new culture and climate, there are often barriers to employment that include licensing and working requirements. This is particularly true for engineers and geoscientists, who often have extra hurdles, and we meet many of these new Calgarians at the Library every day.

The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) regulates the practices of engineering and geoscience in Alberta, and has a website designed to help these workers.

But more was needed.

That’s why we were excited to learn of their new liaison, whose role is to listen, counsel, and help newcomers maneuver through the system. Recently interviewed for the industry magazine PEG, Guillermo Barreiro’s experience and qualifications make him uniquely qualified to help and provide an extra level of support.

And for those newcomers who are trying to understand and thrive in Calgary’s unique business culture and may have skill gaps, there are a wealth of local programs to choose from, including:

These and other program can also be found in Alberta Human Services Employment, Training and Career Services Directory. Understanding that it’s often tricky to keep on top of all the new and emerging employment related programs, they created this excellent and up-to-date resource to help keep you connected to all outstanding support available throughout the City.

Calgary Public Library also has a wide variety of books to help, including our popular You're hired-- Now What? : An Immigrant's Guide to Success in the Canadian Workplace. Make sure to talk with Library staff to help get connected to the resources, programs and events that can help you move your career forward.