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WorkQuest™ers historically met every Tuesday morning (for six years!) for informal discussions and reviews of their job search efforts. The meetings were usually in the meeting room of a Panera Cafe around the Pittsburgh area and suburbs. Now WorkQuest™ers meet occasionally, and meetings are announced on this page of the website.

To see our previous meeting topics, see below.

Attendance at our regular WorkQuest™ meetings continued to decline throughout 2008 even as the unemployment level in the Pittsburgh area continued to increase. The WorkQuest™ board decided to suspend these meetings effective November 11, 2008, our last formal Tuesday morning meeting.

Our virtual discussion group is still very active. If you are interested in joining our WorkQuest™ discussion group online, or in speaking with someone about WorkQuest™, please use the Contact link at left, and someone will reply.

Previous Meeting Topics
(Note: Old links may not work.)

2005

May 10th - Extended Check-in Round - There will be no formal program or topic of discussion. Instead, we'll allow each person extra time to describe job search techniques, ask questions, share ideas, and offer suggestions to help others.

May 17th - Vance Engleman - "How not to shoot your toes off during an interview". This is a follow-up to Vance's excellent presentation on April 5th about resume writing style and format.

May 24th - Extended Check-in Round - There will be no formal program or topic of discussion. Instead, we'll allow each person extra time to describe job search techniques, ask questions, share ideas, and offer suggestions to help others.

May 31st - Marben Bland - "Inside the HR Manager's Brain" - So you finally landed that interview, you answered all the questions, you provided great answers, you even wore that power suit. You did all the things the interview experts at Work Quest told you to do. Now it has been three weeks and you haven’t heard a thing. What did you do wrong? Answer: Nothing.

While companies will tout that employees are their most valuable asset, many do not have consistent processes in place to assess and hire talent. This session provides you with insight on the hiring process from Marben's nearly two decades of experience as a Human Resource executive at several of America’s top companies.

Marben Bland is the Managing Partner of Chandler-Partners International, a Pittsburgh-based diversified company focusing on manufacturing, marketing, recruiting, and business consulting.

June 7th - Extended Check-in Round - There will be no formal program or topic of discussion. Instead, we'll allow each person extra time to describe job search techniques, ask questions, share ideas, and offer suggestions to help others.

June 14th - Geri Puleo "Hiring Trends 2005". The United States continues to experience fundamental changes in its economy and the way that it conducts business. How can organizations and job candidates prepare themselves to take advantage of these new opportunities? Discover the Top 5 hiring trends… and how YOU can benefit from them! For more information about Geri, see www.gapuleo.com

June 21st - Extended Check-in Round - There will be no formal program or topic of discussion. Instead, we'll allow each person extra time to describe job search techniques, ask questions, share ideas, and offer suggestions to help others.

June 28th "We Got Fired - So What" - discussion of the new book "We got Fired - And Its the Best Thing That Every Happened to Us" by Harvey Mackay. Case studies of many people who got fired then recovered and went on to bigger and better things. Free handout: tip sheet about how to recover. See Amazon for book details

July 5th - Extended Check-in Round - Diana Mathis will chair this meeting where we will describe our job search strategies and techniques, ask questions, share ideas, and offer suggestions to help others.

July 12th - Quarterly Member / Alumni Get-Together - 5:30 to 8:00 pm at Piper's Pub, 1828 East Carson St, Southside. Free munchies courtesy of WorkQuest, cash bar. See www.piperspub.com for their menu and other details.

July 19th - Extended Check-in Round - There will be no formal program or topic of discussion. Instead, we'll allow each person extra time to describe job search techniques, ask questions, share ideas, and offer suggestions to help others.

July 26th - Extended Check-in Round - There will be no formal program or speaker. Instead, we'll allow each person extra time to describe job search techniques, ask questions, share ideas, and offer suggestions to help others. We will also discuss phone interview techniques.

Aug 2nd - Neal Griebling - "Embracing the Uncertainty of our Job Search". Career consultant & chaplain Neal Griebling will offer strategies for coping with the fears and resistance most people experience in their search for right livelihood. The founder of futureDESIGNstudio, inc., Neal will take participants through some interactive modalities for dealing with changeand uncertainty while discovering peace and equanimity in their job search. For more information about Neal's work, see www.futureDesignstudio.com

Aug 9th - Renee Farrow from Pittsburgh Business Times - "How to use the print media to find a job." See Pittsburgh Business Times

Aug 16th - Extended Check-in Round - There will be no formal program or speaker. Instead, we'll allow each person extra time to describe job search techniques, ask questions, share ideas, and offer suggestions to help others. We will also discuss Dress for Success interview strategies.

Aug 23rd - Extended Check-in Round - At this week's meeting, we'll do our usual check in round to see what the members have been doing in their job search this past week. At last week's meeting, an impromptu discussion on networking started. This week, we'll talk in more depth about networking. What type of networking activities are effective? How often should you attend networking functions? How do you find (or make) networking opportunities?

Aug 30th - Extended Check-in Round - There will be no formal program or speaker. Instead, we'll allow each person extra time to describe job search techniques, ask questions, share ideas, and offer suggestions to help others.

Sept 13th - Extended Check-in Round - There will be no formal program or speaker. Instead, we'll allow each person extra time to describe job search techniques, ask questions, share ideas, and offer suggestions to help others.

Sept 20th - Laurel Patterson - "More Than Just Words" Body language and mirroring are a part of the job interview whether or not the participants are aware of it. Laurel Patterson will define these terms and discuss what can be done to improve this silent part of the interview.

Sept 27th - Janis Ramey - Extended check-in and discussion of career change options

Oct 4th - Janis Ramey - Extended check-in and discussion of negotiating after the job offer comes in

Oct 11th - Janis Ramey - Extended check-in and discussion of telecommuting pros and cons

Oct 18th - Quarterly Member / Alumni Get-Together - 5:30 to 8:00 pm at Piper's Pub, 1828 East Carson St, Southside. Free munchies courtesy of WorkQuest, cash bar. See www.piperspub.com for their menu and other details.

Oct 25th - Linda Schumacher was our speaker. She lead an informal discussion about her consulting business, Schumacher Consulting, Inc., including the following topics:

  • How I got started in my consulting business
  • How I've evolved and promoted the business over the years
  • Why I decided to write a book and how that process worked

Linda H. Schumacher, author, entrepreneur, speaker and certified Project Management Professional (PMP), is president of Schumacher Consulting, Inc, a company she founded in 1998. Linda is a project management consultant with more than 20 year's experience across a broad range of industry sectors. She helps companies cure project paralysis, though consulting, coaching, speaking, and her book, Ready, Set, Succeed!: How successful projects triumph over business as usual. For more information, visit her web site www.ReadySetSucceedBook.com.

Nov 1st CAREER ADVICE FROM A RECRUITER - Sommer Bennett worked for several years for a local recruiting firm then switched to a new career as the local sales rep for Monster.com. Now she works to convince local employers to use Monster's vast database of resumes to find that "one perfect employee" that they want to hire. Come hear her perspective on changing careers and finding that "one perfect job" that's right for you.

Nov 8th ORGANIZATIONAL RESILIENCE - Joe Brown has developed a value-based model that helps workers achieve a more balanced work-life by working smarter not harder.

It's the new reality of corporate America - you need to prove your worth to your employer every day, seat warmers need not apply. Joe will be sharing his perspective from many years as an Organizational Development expert at GlaxoSmithKline (and its predecessors) as well as Dun & Bradstreet, PPG Industries, Xerox, and Merck.

Nov 15th REINVENTING YOURSELF - Larry Scherpereel talked about his career transitions and how he has re-invented himself several times.- Larry held professional and management positions in engineering, marketing, communications, and strategic planning for Westinghouse Electric's Nuclear Division for thirty-three years. After separating from Westinghouse, Larry worked with Skutski & Oltmanns, a marketing communications firm in Pittsburgh, as director of the RefreshContent SM web site management service. He is now an independent consultant specializing in business planning, Web site management, and strategic communications. He also serves as Director of Communications for the United Methodist Foundation of Western Pennsylvania, where his duties include the planning and implementation of communication programs that promote their services and activities.

Larry has B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame, has done advanced graduate work at Carnegie Mellon University, and earned his Certified Business Communicator credentials in 1986. He is a member of the American Nuclear Society, the Society for Technical Communication, and serves as treasurer of the Pittsburgh Regional Knowledge Management Consortium.

Nov 22th - Laurel Patterson, Discussion Leader - Extended check-in and discussion of keeping spirits up especially during the upcoming holiday season.

Nov 29th - Quarterly Member / Alumni Get-Together - 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Piper's Pub, 1828 East Carson St, Southside. Free munchies courtesy of WorkQuest, cash bar. See www.piperspub.com for their menu and other details.

Dec 6th FRANCHISING???- John Tubridy - John has with over 30 years experience in business management, business development and consulting in the franchise, career services and Insurance industries. John is President of Franchise Network of Pittsburgh.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Determining what you want a business to do for you
  • Types of franchises available and cost ranges.
  • Investment costs associated with owning and operating a franchise
  • Using a successful process to investigate a franchise.
  • Discussion on FTC regulations and Franchise Offering Circulars

FranNet has a network of over 80 offices in North America working on a consultation basis with individuals considering going into business and can help them identify a franchise that meets their personal and financial goals. FranNet's costs are paid by the franchise industry. There is no fee to clients for the service. To learn more about FranNet, visit their website.

Dec 13th - Alex Botkin - Formerly a researcher / writer for a Pittsburgh-based public policy think tank group, he now manages outside / volume sales for a Borders Bookstore. Alex also founded the Pittsburgh Business Calendar. For more info see www.businesscalendar.org

Dec 20th - Janis Ramey, Discussion Leader - Extended check-in and discussion of keeping records of contacts.

Dec 27th - No Meeting - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

2006

Jan 3rd - Janis Ramey, Discussion Leader - Extended check-in and discussion of portfolios and work samples.

Jan 10th - Janis Ramey, Discussion Leader - Extended check-in and discussion of telephone cold calls.

Jan 17th - Janis Ramey, Discussion Leader - Extended check-in and discussion of resumes.

Jan 24th - MARKETING YOU AND YOUR JOB SEARCH by Lois Bradley and Ernie Emmerling of The Bradley Partnerships, Inc. - Workshop participants will:

  • Participate in a Career Assessment to help form your marketing plan
  • Learn how the right personal collateral package will market your skills
  • Obtain tips on getting the job interview
  • Learn the importance of follow-up

Jan 31st - Janis Ramey, Discussion Leader - Extended check-in and discussion of barriers to effective job search.

Feb 7th - Field Trip - We have reserved the Communications Conference Room on the first floor of the Pittsburgh Technology Council Building on 2nd Avenue near downtown. It has a nice view of the Mon River and a coffee shop next door (across from the reception desk). We have the room reserved from 10am to noon. At 11am someone from the Tech Council will come in and give us a short overview of their activities. Free parking available in front of their building.

Feb 14th - Janis Ramey, Discussion Leader - Extended check-in and discussion of maintaining relationships during the stresses of job searching.

Feb 21st - Janis Ramey, Discussion Leader - Extended check-in and discussion of marketing materials.

Feb 28th - Janis Ramey, Discussion Leader - Extended check-in and discussion of cover letters (paper and email).

Wednesday Mar 8th - Quarterly Member / Alumni Get-Together - 5:30 to 8:00 pm at Piper's Pub, 1828 East Carson St, Southside. Free munchies courtesy of WorkQuest, cash bar. See www.piperspub.com for their menu and other details.

Mar 14th - Field Trip McKesson Automation - Rocky Hayseslip, one of our WorkQuest alumni has volunteered to give us a tour of the McKesson Automation facilites in the Cranbeerry Twp area.

Rocky Hayeslip, Application Resource Management trainer for McKesson Automation, will talk about the company and it's products and services. The company specializes in equipment and software for pharmacies large and small. By using these products, hospitals can reduce the number of errors associated with the delivery of medications to patients during the process of prescribing, transcribing, dispensing, and administering drugs. Medications are packaged into single unit doses and entered into the McKesson Automation ROBOT-Rx, which stores the packets until it is time to dispense the meds to the appropriate patients. Following the commands from the software, the ROBOT picks the meds needed for each patient in each unit of the hospital. Each patient's meds for the day are stored together, and administered according to schedule.

Other important McKesson components in the medication management system can safeguard narcotics, secure medications on the hospital floors, and overall, can provide safety and security, reduce medication errors, and increase patient safety and improve the level of care delivered. Rocky will give a brief overview of hospital functionality, discuss how McKesson Automation solutions improve pharmacy functionality and patient safety, and give a tour of the McKesson Vision Center to demonstrate the workings of the ROBOT-Rx and other McKesson products.

Directions: From the south,west, or north, take Rt 79 to the Cranberry/Rt 228 Exit, number 78. Turn east on Rt 228. Just passed the Marriot Hotel, there is a traffic light at the T intersection of Rt 228 and Cranberry Woods Drive. Turn right onto Cranberry Woods Drive. Proceed through the woods and half-way around the lake to the stop sign. Turn right at the stop sign. At the next stop sign, go straight. You will pass through a turn-around circle and into the parking lot of 500 Cranberry Woods Drive. Park anywhere you can. Enter and take the elevator at the back of the lobby to the fourth floor, and sign in at the main desk. Behind the receptionist's desk is the Executive Briefing Room, where the meeting will start.

There will be coffee, tea, hot chocolate, ice water, and probably other stuff available from the nearby kitchen. There are soda and snack machines there too. I will be bringing in fruit and bagels for breakfast.

Mar 21st - Janis Ramey, Discussion Leader - Extended check-in and discussion of your personal job search brochure: an exercise in selling yourself.

Mar 28th - Janis Ramey, Discussion Leader - Extended check-in and discussion of overcoming age and experience barriers.

Apr 4th - Valerie Haus - Job fairs

Apr 11th - Janis Ramey - Overcoming mental blocks

Apr 18th - David C. Brown, PMP - The Right Attitude will Get you the Job - Do you Have it?"

Apr 25th - Field Trip Riverside Center for Innovation - Juan Garret, Financial Director ( jg@riversidecenterforinnovation.com) will describe the center and its programs. The Riverside Center for Innovation is one of the region's leading small business incubators/entrepreneurial centers that provide direct assistance to start-up companies and existing small businesses. RCI has assisted over 85 companies and created over 400 new jobs to our region. RCI is located on the eastern end of the North Shore area, between the Heinz Plant and the Allegheny River. For additional information, see www.riversidecenterforinnovation.com

May 9th - Career Development Center - John Gilmore. See John's web site for more information.

May 18th (Thursday) - Quarterly Member / Alumni Get-Together - 5:30 to 8:00 pm at Piper's Pub, 1828 East Carson St, Southside. Free munchies courtesy of WorkQuest, cash bar. See www.piperspub.com for their menu and other details.

May 23rd - A CRASH COURSE IN NETWORKING - Geri Puleo See www.gapuleo.com for more information.

May 30th - Janis Ramey - Extended check-in and discussion of Overcoming mental blocks

June 6th - Janis Ramey - Career change options

June 13th - Janis Ramey - Back to basics: What to do on a daily, weekly, monthly basis during job search

June 20th - Janis Ramey - How to keep motivated when your job search bogs down

June 27th - Lynn Wagner - Getting By on Not Much Money: Secrets - With three years of grad school and two of underemployment, WorkQuester Lynn Wagner will share what she has learned about living lean and still enjoying life.

July 4th - No Meeting

July 11th - CommuteInfo - Ride sharing and other commuting options

A speaker from CommuteInfo will be featured at our July 11th meeting to talk about their program for helping commuters, including free ride-sharing services.

Approximately sixty percent of the Southwestern Pennsylvania region's 1.5 million workers travel outside their resident municipality to work. Commuting options are an integral part of life for the region's employers and workers.

CommuteInfo is a program of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission that is dedicated to helping commuters in Southwestern Pennsylvania find alternatives to driving alone to work. The CommuteInfo program offers a wide range of free ride-sharing services to employees and employers within the region, such as a toll free phone number for information and referrals, vanpool/carpool rider matching, an emergency ride home service as well as transit/biking/walking resources.

CommuteInfo promotes regional commuter ridesharing initiatives by reaching out to area employers, transit providers, professional organizations, and current and potential ridesharers in 10 Southwestern Pennsylvania counties: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington and Westmoreland. The CommuteInfo program is operated in partnership with transportation management associations, transportation providers, businesses and non-profit service organizations throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania.

CommuteInfo and its partners have been working to build awareness of the program through meetings with regional employers, at local and regional job fairs-anywhere there is an opportunity to share commute options with both job seekers and employers. At a recent job fair, one young man told how he had declined 3 job offers because none had included parking. A woman who was looking for a career change shared that she had limited the geographic focus of her job search because she did not want to "drive into the city." She was happy to learn about transit options and said that now she would be able to broaden her search.

July 18th - Laurel Patterson - Winning the Fight Against Depression - Laurel Patterson will discuss things to do to battle depression--from the viewpoint of someone who's been there. She will present some very basic (although not always very easy) things to do to fight depression and win.

July 25th - Janis Ramey - Business Cards for job seekers - Business cards are an absolute must in today's environment. We'll help you decide what to include, what they should look like, where to get them printed.

Aug 1st - Janis Ramey - Is working from home an option? - If you're faced with this decision, you will want to be involved in this discussion. We'll talk about what's involved, how much it costs, logistics, equipment, and many other aspects of working at home.

Aug 8th - Laurel Patterson - Personality Styles Can Work for You - Laurel will discuss the basic information on personality styles and how use the information to improve awareness and communication.

Aug 15th - Al Borowski - Get That Interview Faster

  • Are you in a resume rut?
  • Are you tired and frustrated because you invest all that time and effort to create and send out resumes and cover letters, and you receive little satisfaction?
  • Do you know that less than seven percent of all jobs come about as a result of a resume and cover letter?
  • Are you ready to try something different?
  • Are you willing to try something that has proven to be a more effective way of opening doors to new jobs and new careers.
Business writing expert, author, and professional speaker, Al Borowski, will share a different approach that will help you sell yourselves. Resumes and cover letters tell. Marketing letters sell. Please join us on Agust 15 to learn a new and better way. For more info, see Al's web site www.connectallthedots.com

Aug 22nd - David Hiebert - How are people printing material today and what does it mean for your future? WorkQuester David Hiebert will help us understand how printing methods can affect our job search marketing materials. Printing methods these days vary a great deal. Some examples:

  • the thermo printed slip cash register slip
  • the flyer from your inkjet
  • the wedding pictures from your daughter’s wedding
David runs a publishing business in Scottsdale called "The DeskTop".

Aug 29th - Ginny Silhanek - Synchronicity and Networking - Do you ever wonder how people streamline their jobsearch? Is it luck? Here's some examples of synchronicity.- You just received your last unemployment check when suddenly a job comes along. Everyone's favorite.....You drive to an interview where parking is "next to impossible" and someone pulls out of a parking spot. Come join us as we share your intersting stories. Learn three simple yet practical ways to enhance your chances of conecting synchronicity with networking for job opportunites.

Sept 5th - David C. Brown - The Right Attitude Will Get You the Job - Do You Have it?" David C. Brown, PMP, will discuss how the right attitude is critically involved in your job search, what kind of attitude is required to get hired and ten techniques that you can use to cultivate and maintain the proper attitude.

David is a project manager professional, software developer (Java, VB.NET, C, & Assembly languages) and embedded systems developer. He's reached the 3d level of Toastmasters.

Sept 12th - INTERVIEWING STRATEGIES FOR CAREER CHANGERS - Geri Puleo See www.gapuleo.com for more information.

Sept 19th - JOB SEARCH MARKETING MATERIALS- Janis Ramey

Sept 26th - MAKE YOUR EMAIL MESSAGES WORK FOR YOU - Janis Ramey

Oct 3rd - HOW TO PREPARE FOR A LOSS OF JOB - BRAINSTORMING SESSION - Janis Ramey

Oct 10th - Check-in round - Janis Ramey

Oct 17th - Job search networking -- personal and online - Chuck Lanigan Evening meeting, 6:00-7:30pm at CMU. We will be in Roberts Engineering Hall, 1st Floor (Frew Street side), Room: 140, Attendees may bring food as long as we clean up. Location details - we will be in building # 33 on this campus map.

Oct 24th - Job loss strategies - transitioning from employee to owner - Joseph D. Jolson, Ph.D.

Oct 31st - Personal job-search websites - Janis Ramey

Nov 7th - Beverly Spagnolo, current president of STC Pittsburgh, hosts the meeting at Klauscher Architects, 366 Lincoln Avenue, in the Bellevue section of Pittsburgh, PA 15202. Klauscher Architects is an architecture/interior design firm, specializing in corporate and religious structures and multi-residential housing. To visit their web site, click here. For directions to their office, view this PDF.

Nov 14th - Back to basics – improving your resume - Janis Ramey

Nov 21st - Internet security – protecting your private information during a job search - Janis Ramey

Nov 28th - Extended check-in - Janis Ramey

Dec 5th - "How to Build and Maintain Your Social Network" - Jeff Crummie. For additional information about Jeff, click here. Meeting Leader - Marge Cain

Dec 6th - Quarterly Meeting for Current Member & Alumni - 6pm at Sharp Edge in East Liberty.

The Sharp Edge is famous for its variety of Belgian and other beer imports and good food. The address is 302 South St. Clair Street (near Penn Circle in East Liberty). Phone 412-661-3537 for directions or more info. As before, we'll start at 6:00 PM and try for munchies courtesy of WorkQuest. The cost of beer or other libations is your responsibility. To link the restaurant home page with a map click here.

Dec 12th - Extended check-in - Rebecca Stenger

Dec 19th - Extended check-in - Emil Quatchak

Dec 26th - Extended check-in - Janis Ramey -- WorkQuesters, just because everyone else seems to be taking off for the holiday is no excuse for us. We need to keep plugging away. I'm looking forward to seeing some familiar faces as well as the new folks that have joined WorkQuest since I was last able to attend.

2007

Jan 2nd - Extended check-in - Janis Ramey - At Tuesday's meeting, we're going to work on an item we should probably all have on our list of New Year's resolutions -- image improvement. What does your image say about you? Do you make a good first impression? Do others perceive you as you would like them to? What personality characteristics are you projecting? What's your body language saying? What about wardrobe, hairstyle, and grooming? Voice?

Jan 8th - Joint Monday evening meeting with STC's Pittsburgh Chapter - Annual Career Roundtable "Create Your Success" at the Spaghetti Warehouse. Learn about the tools to create your own success including:

  • What Is Involved When Considering Self-Employment?
  • Relationship Networking – It’s More Than Handing Out Your Business Card
  • The Dream Book—Planning Beyond the Numbers
  • Prospects for Older Workers
  • Free Resume Review

Jan 9th - Extended check-in - Janis Ramey

Jan 16th - Extended check-in - Janis Ramey

Jan 23rd - Extended check-in - Janis Ramey

Jan 30th - Extended check-in - Janis Ramey

Feb 6th - Geri Puleo "A Crash Course in Networking". For more information about Geri, see www.gapuleo.com

Feb 13th - Quarterly Member / Alumni Get-Together - 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Sharp Edge Creekhouse, 288 W. Steuben Street , Crafton. Free munchies courtesy of WorkQuest, cash bar. See www.sharpedgebeer.com for their menu and other details. Meeting was postponed due to the weather.

Feb 20th - Bill King - Library display

Feb 27th - Geri Puleo "Tell me about a time..." Behavioral Interviewing Strategies.

Mar 6th - Chuck Lanigan - 6:00 to 8:00 pm - Discussion of the skills and aptitudes employers look for vs. those you actually use day-to-day on the job, and how you can develop and keep your own skills current and present them in the best light for career advancement

Mar 13th - Quarterly Member / Alumni Get-Together - 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Sharp Edge Creekhouse, 288 W. Steuben Street , Crafton. Free munchies courtesy of WorkQuest, cash bar. See www.sharpedgebeer.com for their menu and other details. As always, STC members and their friends and spouses are welcome to attend, too!

Mar 20th - Bryce Walat - Editor/Writer at Five Star Development will host this meeting at their office 1204 Fifth Ave (near downtown). Bryce is a former WorkQuester and said that anyone in the group is welcome to bring resumes and business cards to the meeting and leave them with him. Five Star does training and development, performance consulting, and help clients with change management. Click here to visit their web site for more info and directions.

April 17th Dennis McCarthy "How a Personal Marketing Plan Can Help You Focus Your Job Search". Dennis will discuss how to develop and use a Personal Marketing Plan. This is an important program for you – especially if you haven’t formalized your marketing plan. Dennis is an active WorkQuester looking for work as a documentation specialist. He is also serves on the WorkQuest board of directors.

May 8th - Overcoming Socializing Barriers - Sometimes we have socializing barriers that prevent us from moving forward with our job search. For example, we feel awkward or somehow inadequate at a networking function so we choose to sit quietly on the sideline or pretend to be busy at the refreshment table. Or, we've just been introduced to someone and don't quite know what to say next. Or, there's a conversational group in the room we'd like to join but don't want to seem pushy by barging in. On Tuesday we'll be talking about overcoming these and other socializing barriers. A copy of the handout is available in the Files section of our Yahoo group website. Please bring a printed copy with you to the meeting.

May 15th - 6:30 to 8:00 PM - An evening with Chuck Lanigan

May 22nd - Geri Puleo "5 Tips to a Dynamic Resume"

May 29th - Janis Ramey - Check-in and round table discussion.

June 5th - Quarterly Member and Alumni Get-Together Now that the Memorial Day Holiday is behind us, it's time for the summer edition of WorkQuest's quarterly networking party. As usual, STC will pay for the munchies and each attendee will buy his/her own drinks.

Please join us at 6:00 to 8:00pm on Tuesday, June 5 at the Sharp Edge Beer Emporium Location in the EAST END. (Please note: this is NOT the Crafton location. This is the Sharp Edge at 302 South St. Clair Street not far from Shadyside.)

For directions, please go to www.sharpedgebeer.com and click the link for the Beer Emporium Location. (There's a map at the bottom of the page.) Or call them at 412-661-3537. As always, STC members and their friends and spouses are welcome to attend, too! No Tuesday morning meeting this week.

June 12th - Geri Puleo "Selling the Sizzle in a Job Interview"

June 19th - Janis Ramey "Electronic Portfolios" No matter what your field is, you should be prepared to show prospective employers samples of your work. Samples can include documents, spreadsheets, charts, photographs, help files, programs, code, drawings, presentations, products, and anything else that you have produced. "Portfolio" is the term most often used for such collections. Portfolios can also include letters of recommendation or commendation, job search brochures, award certificates, and other marketing materials. On Tuesday, we're going to talk about how to create an electronic version of your portfolio so you can easily carry it with you to interviews or networking events. Electronic portfolios can also be sent via email and displayed on your job search website.

July 3rd - Janis Ramey "References" In the jobsearch world, references are people who are willing to say positive things about your ability to do a job. On Tuesday, we're going to talk about choosing, managing, and using references. For an overview of this subject, check the following article -- http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/Careers/11/09/references/index.html

July 24th - Mike Mirchich This Tuesday, Mike will lead a discussion of an article written by Ben Stein that many of us have seen via forwarded email called "How Can Someone Who Lives in Insane Luxury Be a Star in Today's World?". The article may help us keep our perspective when our frustrations and worry about job searching seem to be all consuming. To read the article, click here.

Aug 21st - Sam Wieder of Express Success - Quick-Start Networking How long does it take you to ignite a relationship with those who can best help you find your ideal job or achieve what you want most? If you're like most people on the networking scene, it may seem as if it takes forever. You may be out there meeting a lot of people but find that nothing much comes of it. After awhile, you may feel as if you are lost in a sea of networkers. You're barely noticed or remembered by those who can open doors of opportunity for you.

The good news is that you can easily launch productive relationships after meeting people for the first time—even if you’re new to networking. You don't need to be a brilliant conversationalist or the most bubbly extrovert on your block. All it really takes is a little preparation, the right approach, and a simple shift in the mindset that you bring to the networking game. Learn how you can bring all of this together to launch profitable networking relationships faster than you may have thought possible.

Sam Wieder, MBA is a certified NLP trainer and coach who helps business people and professionals learn to speak with confidence and market themselves with impact. He publishes Networking Events Hotline, a monthly online update of one dozen top networking and educational events in the greater Pittsburgh area. He is a co-author of book Celebrate Marketing and author of the action guide Speak and Get Clients. He is also a past president of the Pittsburgh chapter of the National Speakers Association. His website is www.JetToSuccess.com.

Aug 28th - Tim Redmond presents "Moving and Shakin' - Job search for Pittsburgh transplants". As a newcomer to Pittsburgh, you must learn what resources are available in and around the city to help land the job you want. Tim will help us learn job search techniques and resources for making our job search more beneficial.

Sept 4th - Evening Meeting 6:30 to 8:00pm - Chuck Lanigan will chair a check-in round where we can each update other job seakers and alumni about what we've been doing and what others might do to help. The meeting will be at the new Breen Energy Solutions office, 104 Broadway Street in Carnegie. For detailed directions, click here.

Sept 11th - Janis Ramey - Extended Check-in Round

Sept 18th - Geri Puleo "Tell me about a time..." Behavioral Interviewing Strategies. For more information about Geri, see www.gapuleo.com

Sept 25th - “What’s Holding You Back in Your Job Search? Turning Challenges into Successful Strategies.” by Neal Griebling Identifying and finding work you love is a systematic process that integrates developing clarity about what you want to do, identifying and working with your fears and resistance, and utilizing effective networking to put yourself in front of the decision maker that can hire you, give you a consulting contract or fund your business. Is your challenge a lack of vision, negative belief systems or simply a lack of knowledge about the process? Find out how to deal with these challenges in this informative workshop presentation.

Neal Griebling is a chaplain, a career consultant and the founder of Future Design Studio, inc. He is committed to helping individuals achieve their full potential. For more information about Neal, go to www.futuredesignstudio.com

Oct 2nd - Robert Sterbal - Extended Check-in Round

Oct 9th - Evening member / alumni get-together 6:00 to 8:00pm at Sharp Edge Beer Emporium at 302 South St. Clair Street (Shadyside), Pittsburgh, PA 15206. For details and a map, click here for their web site then go to the Beer Emporium Location link on the left side.

Oct 16th - Christina Downs - Balancing life and work - Balancing our lives can be difficult, even under normal circumstances. But, when you are job-hunting or starting a business, that added financial stress can really overwhelm you and your family. Why do we worry in life, and how can we stop? How can we balance conflicting aspects of our lives? Chris' talk will focus on how we can find balance through contradiction -- taking seemingly contradictory life lessons and showing how they work together, like two sides of the same coin, to help us balance our lives. In addition, Chris will be discussing some tips for maintaining balance during financially stressful times, such as when job-hunting.

Chris Downs is a wife, mother, writer, and editor who has been a member of WorkQuest for a number of years. Chris' education includes an M.A. in Professional Writing from CMU, a B.A. in English Writing from Pitt, and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Pitt. She has over ten years of technical writing experience and currently does freelance writing and editing work from home. She is author of the book Simply Balanced: Bible "Contradictions" Teach Balanced Living. More information can be found at www.CrossYourHeartPublications.com.

Oct 23rd - Geri Puleo "A Crash Course in Networking".

Nov 6th - Janis Ramey "Career Change Options".

Nov 13th - John Tubridy "Career Alternatives – Franchising and Entrepreneurship"

Nov 20th - Janis Ramey "Tips for Working at Home" Many of us have considered leaving the cube farm to telecommute or start a home-based business. On Tuesday, we're going to talk about how to be successful working at home. We'll cover equipment and space requirements, attitude adjustments (especially by family members), finances and taxes, handling clients, and even how to present yourself on the phone.

Nov 27th - Janis Ramey "Thank You Notes" You've just had an interview or met with a new networking contact and are now faced with writing a thank you note (yes, it's required!). How do you start? What do you say? What does it look like? When do you send it? Is email ever OK? At Tuesday's meeting we'll address these questions and others so that your next thank you note should be a lot easier to write.

Dec 4th - Janis Ramey "Barriers Between You and Your Perfect Job"

Dec 11th - Christina Downs "Self Publishing". Christina will summarize different publishing options, leading a discussion about which method those interested in writing and publishing a book may choose. Authors publish books for a variety of reasons: to spread a message, to earn money, to market other products or services, to share information with relatives or coworkers, or just for fun! Every person has different goals and different timetables, which can help them decide whether to choose traditional publishing, subsidy publishing, self-publishing, or something in between. Christina chose to self-publish the book Simply Balanced: Bible "Contradictions" Teach Balanced Living, starting a small Christian publishing company Cross Your Heart Publishing to publish her books and the works of other authors . If you have ever considered writing and publishing a book, please join our discussion.

Dec 18th - Marty Stahl "Entrepreneurship as an employment option" - Join Marty Stahl, Marketing Director and Business Coach at Working Order a program of Volunteers of America of Pennsylvania for a lively discussion on entrepreneurship as an employment option. There is a growing market of entrepreneurs who are finding success and making a difference in communities all across the country. Making the decision to seek self-employment requires an organized plan.

Working Order, a program of Volunteers of America helps individuals develop a plan to evaluate entrepreneurship as a viable alternative in the employment marketplace.

Working Order focuses on promoting, developing and supporting entrepreneurial opportunities for people with challenges to traditional employment. We offer shared office space and equipment, business coaching, feasibility planning and sales, marketing and technical skills assistance to individuals who are starting their own business or changing their career path.

If you are considering self-employment or are dealing with employment obstacles, Working Order can assist you in accessing the alternatives available to reach your goals. For more information, see www.workingorder.org

Dec 27th - Leslie Johnson "Tweaking Job Search Techniques for the New Year" There probably is a pattern to your job search. There are probably techniques you use intentionally or intuitively. But, maybe there are areas you can tweak just a little bit that will ease the process in 2008. This week's discussion is an informal opportunity to think about and share what you have done that worked, but might work better, with some modification or enhancement. Bottom line, no technique is ever a complete failure, everything works to some degree, so think positively and come and share your thoughts.

2008

Thursday, Jan 3rd at 10:00 a.m - We'll be discussing a difficult topic - How to ask for more money from a current or prospective employer. You know you're worth more than they're paying or offering. How to you ask for more? What can you use to support your argument? What words work best? What format is appropriate (in person, phone, email)? How to you parlay your underpaid work into higher pay?

Monday, Jan 7th, 6-9 p.m - STC’s Annual Employment Meeting at Duranti’s in Oakland - promises to be a winner. Our career roundtable includes a nice dinner, networking, and valuable information on the theme "Hone Your Hire-Ability". Cost: $18 STC members, $20 non-STC members, $8 students and unemployed. For more info, click here to go to the STC web site.

Thursday, Jan 10th at 6:00 p.m - Quarterly Meeting for Current Member & Alumni - 6pm at Sharp Edge in East Liberty. Please RSVP by Jan 8th to Richard Lohmeyer at rkloh@msn.com.

Tues, Jan 22nd - How to sabotage your career - Janis Ramey will lead a discussion about actions that can sabotage your career, such as:

  • Failing to have a life plan.
  • Not keeping your skills current.
  • Failing to deliver results.
  • Confusing efficiency with effectiveness.
  • Believing that you are irreplaceable.
  • Knowing all the answers.
  • Surrounding yourself with "brown-nosers."
  • Forgetting to give credit to others.
  • Failing to self-promote.
  • Losing perspective.
These points are described in an article in Computerworld called "Ten career-killers to avoid" dated November 7, 2007. The article quotes John M. McKee, president of BusinessSuccessCoach.net. To read the complete article, click here

Jan 29th - Resumes and Profiles - Valerie Haus will lead a discussion about resumes and profiles. Is your resume doing its job? Is your job search profile working well for you? Join this discussion and find out what others are doing and possibly pick up useful suggestions for your resume and profile.

Feb 5th - Toastmasters - Become The Communicator and Leader You want To Be. Communication and leadership are coveted skills in today’s job market. Candidates who can present themselves in precise terms and can demonstrate a track record of getting things done separate themselves from the pack in a crowed job market. Companies are in desperate need of communicators and leaders who can influence others and rise to the challenges of today’s business environment with purpose and confidence.

Since 1924 Toastmasters International has been in the forefront in helping millions to transform themselves to be the communicators and leaders that they want to be and that companies want to hire. Lead by veteran Toastmasters John Clarke and Marben Bland, this informative seminar will focus on your future and opportunities for communication and leadership development provided by Toastmasters.

Monday Feb 11th, 6:30 pm - Joint meeting with STC - Stress Management - We'll be joining the STC Pittsburgh chapter at their monthly meeting because the program is being presented by WorkQuest.

February is the month of love. We finished the season of holiday and high spending, passed the month of resolution and maybe remorse for spending. Is the stress over? Not while we’re working, or looking for work, or just conducting our lives. Let’s decompress a bit at our February meeting. And to help start the process, there will be no meal and no charge for this meeting. Join us on Monday, February 11 at the Panera in the Galleria, Mt. Lebanon, to hear a panel discussion on stress reduction techniques. This meeting is free. Meals can be purchased from Panera.

Feb 19th - Professional Image - Janis Ramey Professional image is created by appearance, attitude, marketing materials, social skills, and anything else apparent to others. On Tuesday, we're going to identify what it means to be a professional in your field and how do you project a professional image. Pin striped suits and wing-tip shoes project a professional image in some fields; in others it's khakis and tennies. Confidence, experience, knowledge, reliability, creative thinking, and grace under pressure create a professional image in any field.

Feb 26th - Check-in Round - Janis Ramey

Mar 4th - The Right Attitude Will Get You the Job. - David Brown - Do You Have It? How to Get it.

  • How the right attitude is critically involved in your job search.
  • What kind of attitude is required to get the job.
  • Ten techniques that will help you to cultivate and maintain the proper attitude.
David is a long time supporter of STC WorkQuest, a certified project management professional and software developer.

Mar 11th - Before, during, and after layoffs - Bryce Walat

Mar 18th - Your professional society – why it’s worth the money and time during your job search - Janis Ramey -- We're going to look at ways your professional society can help you with your job search. Most professions have an society (such as the Society for Technical Communication that sponsors WorkQuest) made up of people practicing in the field. Often these people hold positions in companies that job searchers would like to work for and may help land us an interview. Some societies even sponsor employment forums and job fairs. Professional societies often provide insights into the latest tools and practices that we might need to master. Aside from these obvious benefits, professional societies may help us most by providing role models that demonstrate what's possible.

Mar 25th - Overcoming mental blocks - Janis Ramey

Apr 8th - Overcoming Age and Experience Barriers (without surgery) - Janis Ramey

Apr 15th - Refinement Techniques for Use of the Internet in Your Job Search - David Henzel

Apr 22th - The 7 Pillars of a Successful Job Campaign - Geri Puleo NOTE: Geri's book of the same name should be published by then, so she will be raffling off a free autographed copy at your event

Apr 29th - No More Blue Mondays - Linda Ryan

May 6th - Overcoming Qualifications Barriers - Janis Ramey. We'll be looking at ways to get around or over qualifications barriers. Sometimes we appear to be overqualified for a position. Should we pursue it anyway? How do we talk to prospective employers who suggest we're overqualified? What should we do if we would like a particular job but don't seem to have all the required qualifications?

May 13th - What You Think is What You Get: Living the Upside of the Downside of Unemployment - Carmen Accetta. Counselor and therapist Carmen Accetta will talk about coping with unemployment based on his experience of having being laid off three times while still raising a young family and on his experience as a therapist for twenty-two years. It deals with the psychological and emotional aspects of unemployment with a focus on the opportunities to be found in an otherwise discouraging situation and is meant to stimulate hope as well as offering practical, but somewhat non-traditional help, to becoming employed. Carmen has been an educator, counselor and therapist for over forty-five years. For more information, see his website at www.intervention-pittsburgh.com.

May 20th - Tips for working at home - Janis Ramey. Working at home requires discipline, commitment, flexibility, and probably long hours. It also means your work schedule, manner of dress, office décor, and even family obligations can fit your lifestyle rather than some corporate requirement. The trick is to project a professional image even though you are working in a casual, homey environment. Clients and prospective clients need to feel confident that you are doing a professional job. Their projects need to be done well and on time. They should be comfortable calling during normal working hours, knowing they are not “interrupting” something in your home. They need to be greeted professionally when they call. Business cards, email address, marketing materials (flyers, websites, resume, portfolio) should all have a top-notch professional look. Your accounting, billing, taxes, and other financial affairs must be handled in a business-like manner.

May 27th - The Surprise Interview - Janis Ramey. How will you react when you get an unexpected phone call from a recruiter or meet someone at a social event who starts asking you questions about your job expectations or background. What questions are they likely to ask? How will you answer them?

June 3rd- If All You Hear Is Silence - David Henzel. If you’ve done everything you should, and nothing has happened. If you’ve conducted research on employers in your area, written an up-to-date resume, networked with colleagues and friends, and replied to the openings for which you’re qualified, and still all you hear is silence, then it’s time to reinforce your job search. Sure, it’s frustrating and dispiriting, but the situation can be improved if you take action. In fact, the one course you must avoid is simply to continue doing the same old things over and over again. If you’ve given the standard methods your best effort and they aren’t working, then you have to adopt a new approach. Think of it as a power bar for your job search.

This “pick-you-up” has just five steps. It’s important that you do them all. Don’t cherry pick the steps you like and ignore the rest. Do every one, even those that may push you a bit out of your comfort zone. That’s how this new approach works. It energizes your job search by sharpening strengths you already have but are not using effectively and adding new capabilities that will enhance your position in the job market. They’re all essential, however, if you want to hear something other than silence. The five steps are:

  1. Stay confident.
  2. Don’t get overconfident.
  3. Modernize your networking.
  4. Stop using a generic resume.
  5. Start making better use of job boards.

June 10th - Listen... - Janis Ramey. WorkQuesters – At STC's 55th Annual International Technical Communication Summit in Philadelpia, PA last week there was a popular session called “Listen…” that focused on the importance of developing listening skills to be successful working with others on projects. Job seekers also need to be good listeners, especially when a potential employer is talking about the job, projects, or company. On Tuesday, we’re going to explore ways to improve our listening skills.

June 17th - Interviewing Strategies for Career Changers - Geri Puleo will present a workshop called "Interviewing Strategies for Career Changers". Career changers experience unique challenges in an interview. Learn how your transferable skills and accomplishments can overcome employer resistance to career change. Geri is a career coach with a business called G. A. Puleo & Associates. For background information about Geri and her company, see www.gapuleo.com.

June 24th - Janis Ramey - The topic for the morning meeting is "I've tried everything. Now what?"

June 24th - Quarterly Evening Member / Alumni Meeting - Please note that our next WorkQuest networking alumni event is scheduled for Tuesday, June 24 at 6:00 p.m. One again we'll be meeting at the Sharp Edge Beer Emporium at 302 South St. Clair Street in the Friendship section of Pittsburgh near Shadyside for the latest in our regular series of networking/social events. STC will once again pay for the munchies and each attendee will buy his/her own drinks. Sharp Edge has proven to be a popular location, so please join us for networking, food, drinks, and fun!

For directions, please go to www.sharpedgebeer.com and click the link for the Beer Emporium Location. Or call them at 412-661-3537. As always, STC members and their friends and spouses are welcome to attend, too!

Please join us! And be sure to RSVP to me at rkloh@msn.com by noon on the 23d so I can give the restaurant a rough idea of the number of guests who will be attending.

July 1st - Evening Meeting - Chuck Lanigan will be running the regular WorkQuest meeting on the evening of Tuesday, July 1st at Panera at the Blvd. of the Allies (Oakland). Start time is 6 PM (give or take 5 minutes). This is in place of our morning time. Please e-mail him if you have any particular employment-related issues you'd like to discuss beyond our normal check-in. cdlanigan@comcast.net

Summer 2008 - No Meetings

Sept 2nd - Janis Ramey - Check-in Session...Where are you in your job search? How can other WorkQuest attendees help you?

Sept 9th - Geri Puleo - A Crash Course in Networking. For more information about Geri, see www.gapuleo.com

Sept 16th - 6 pm - Mary Gannon - Starting Over Without Starting at the Bottom - Mary Lee Gannon went from being a stay-at-home mother with four children under seven-years-old to divorce, poverty and then on to become a newspaper reporter, trade association executive director, public relations consultant, and ultimately a foundation President and CEO. These life experiences are the basis for her CCAC class entitled "Starting Over Without Starting at the Bottom" and her worksheets and blog at www.StartingOverNow.com.

Sept 23rd - David Brown - Preparing for Layoff.

Sept 30th - Marlene Miller - Check-in Session and general discussion.

Oct 7th - Marlene Miller - Checklists. Marlene will lead a discussion on checklists, including personal checklists that people have developed for individualized purposes. Bring your ideas for tools to do checklists - Online? Sticky notes? Formal planning systems? Also please bring along a copy of WorkQuest’s job search checklist. You’ll find it on both our websites.

Oct 14th - Geri Puleo - "Tell me about a time...": Behavioral Interviewing Strategies - Behavioral interviews are increasingly being used in hiring new employees – and it’s the type of interview that you can’t just “wing it!” Learn strategies to prepare for this difficult type of interview in this interactive workshop.

Oct 21st - Marty Stahl - In today's competitive job pool, it's not enough to "look good on paper." You must also demonstrate solid skills, a strong work ethic and the ability to share how your personality is compatible with the corporate culture. No matter what new opportunities you seek, you must be able to demonstrate your strengths and eventually you will need to participate in an interview. Whether you have one week or one day to prepare and practice it is preparation that will help you outshine the competition.

Employers use a variety of interview approaches to identify, recruit and screen candidates in order to narrow the number of applicants who will be invited to interview in-person. One of the common tools in this screening process is the telephone interview. This is not a waste of your time, it is your big opportunity so you better take it seriously.

Join Marty Stahl, Marketing Director for Working Order a program of Volunteers of America of Pennsylvania in a discussion about preparing for a phone interview. As a small business owner, a job seeker, a contract worker, or a rising star employee, it is important to always be ready.You never know when a recruiter, and employer or a networking contact might ask if you have a few minutes to talk. To visit the Volunteers of America web site, click here.

Oct 28th - David Brown - The Right Attitude Will Get You the Job - Do You Have It? How to Get it.

  • How the right attitude is critically involved in your job search.
  • What kind of attitude is required to get the job.
  • Ten techniques that will help you to cultivate and maintain the proper attitude.
David is a software Quality Assurance Specialist and Certified Project Management Professional.

Nov 4th - Bryce Walat - What to do Before, During, and After a Layoff - This week’s regular WorkQuest meeting will be held 6:30-8:30pm - in the evening instead of the morning. We’re trying a new programming idea – having the first meeting of each month be in the evening so people with daytime commitments can be there. The program will be about what to do before, during, and after layoff and will be at the Panera in Penn Center. Hope you can make it.

Nov 11th - Janis Ramey - Cover Letters - Cover letters highlight and expand areas of your resume to entice the employer to consider you for the job. They give you a chance to connect at a personal level. Writing cover letters can be daunting so we'll talk about ways to ease the pain. We'll also cover the difference between emailed and printed cover letters.

Nov 18th - Geri Puleo - Interviewing Strategies for Career Changers