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April 4 Monday Music, Announcements

It’s Monday! Here are our latest announcements at the beginning of a VERY busy week.

Social Learning Summit Wrap-Up

Sls11_tweet_cloudWe’re back from attending and hosting the SAFE TEXT panel at the Social Learning Summit in Washington, DC, hosted by the American University Social Media Club. We had a great time and met some amazing people. We’ll have some information on our blog about the event throughout the next week. In the mean time, here’s the Tweet Cloud as of 11 AM this morning for #SLS11. People are still actively connecting with the hashtag so it’s a work in progress.


Scholarship Applications Due This Friday

Remember, you have until Friday at 11:59PM to submit your application for one of our Spring 2011 Scholarships. The competition is fierce so make sure your application is great! Our next blog post will announce our Scholarship Selection Panel.

Upcoming Speaking Engagements

I am speaking at some upcoming private events. This Saturday, I’ll speaking at the Woodrow Wilson-Rockefeller Brothers Fund Conference for Aspiring Teachers of Color at Brown University in Providence, RI. Next Monday, I’ll be speaking at The American Education Research Association’s Annual Conference in New Orleans on teacher preparation and the job market. Wish me luck!

The Make The Change You Want Networking Event

I am happy to announce a new partnership with Brett Kunsch, personal coach and founder of Millennial Coach. On April 19th, we’ll be co-hosting a networking event around goal setting, making change, and realizing the vision you want for your life. More information coming, but the event is open for RSVPs now.

Music Monday

This song comes to mind after the Social Learning Summit. I felt like we were planning a revolution for personal and community empowerment. What if you ruled the world? (BTW, Lyrics not safe for work!)

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

We’re Participating in the 2011 Social Learning Summit!

I left out some important news yesterday!

I’ll be at the 2011 Social Learning Summit Friday, April 1 to Sunday, April 3 at American University in Washington, DC. It’s a fantastic conference for job seekers, students, educators, and anyone else who wants to expand their network.

I’ll be moderating the “Practice Safe TEXT: Safe Practices for the Social Media Generation” panel on Saturday at the 2011 Social Learning Summit in Washington, DC! You can register for the summit for $10 here.

What questions should I ask the panel? Leave your ideas in the comments.

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog


Eventpalooza and a Book Giveaway

Happy Monday! Rain stinks. If you’re like me and highly affected by the weather, make sure you’ve loaded your IPod Rainy Day playlist with upbeat music. For me, this means a little Stevie Wonder. Check the video at the end to see one of my favorites.

We’ve got three events this week and a book giveaway!

Precise Advisory Group Executives in Transition- Monday, March 21, 2011 at 7PM, $30

107 E. 34th Street

I’ll be one of the featured speakers. You don’t have to be an executive, or in transition, but just want to hear some great career, business, and financial advice.

Building Your Soft Skills Workshop, Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at 7PM, $20

McAnn’s Upstairs Lounge, 3 W. 46th Street

I am doing my popular interview and story-telling workshop on Tuesday and am also giving away a book from The Opportunities Project’s Recommended Book List in our Barnes & Noble Store to one lucky participant!

Fresh Air Fund 2011 Career Awareness Fair, Saturday March 26, 2011

From executives to middle schoolers, we certainly have a diverse schedule this week. Since 2009, I have been a big supporter of the Fresh Air Fund’s career awareness activities and am honored to be one of the speakers. I am looking for a volunteer to help me run consecutive workshops between 9:30 to 12:30. Please contact me if you’re free.

And here’s that promised Stevie song to get you through the day. See you at one of our events.

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog


Achieving Success with LinkedIn Workshop Tomorrow, Extra Resources

Our Achieving Success with LinkedIn workshop is tomorrow at 7PM at one of our favorite places, McAnns, at 3 West 46th Street at 7PM. We’ll have the upstairs lounge to ourselves. Appetizers and networking included.

Hundreds of people received new professional opportunities today via LinkedIn. If you were not one of them, you should be attending this workshop.

Please RSVP in advance on Eventbrite. Friends of The Opportunities Project can use discount code oppsfriend to get 25% off the ticket price and attend for $15.

Here are also three recent articles and blog posts on using LinkedIn that I liked.

1. 4 Essentials for Reaching Out to Strangers on LinkedIn on Careerealism. In the last week, I’ve had conversations with three clients on this very topic. I think this article makes something abstract seem specific and easy and is a great read for that reason.

2. LinkedIn is Changing. Are You Keeping Up? on the Recruiting Unblog. As I’ve blogged before, I get nutty when articles don’t frame LinkedIn as a database and focus on it as a personal marketing tool. This blog post does a great job reinforcing that the point of using LinkedIn is to be found. If you’re not doing what you need to do that, fix it or get off.

3. Creating a Striking Social Media Profile in The Creative Group eZine featuring LinkedIn Trainer and expert Tracy Brisson… OK, this is a complete shameless plug for my interview for this publication. :) It has great advice if I do say so myself.

I also critiqued a job seeker’s LinkedIn profile on the Recruiting Animal’s Blog Talk Radio Show. The job seeker didn’t like my advice- or the feedback from the other recruiters who were agreeing with me. That is the topic for another blog post.

See you on Tuesday!

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog


Cocktails and Careers Event and Networking 101

We’re bringing our popular Cocktails and Careers Networking Events back! We’re having our first event Wednesday, February 23 at 7PM at The Copper Door Tavern at 272 Third Avenue between 21st and 22nd Street. All are welcome- job seekers, people who want to meet new and interesting people, and those who are open to giving some career advice. As of now we have three recruiters tentatively lined up, too.

The event is free, but we ask that you order at least one drink and tip well to thank The Copper Door Tavern for graciously hosting us. We’ll also pool a few dollars together for appetizers. Please RSVP for the event via Eventbrite. The event is sponsored by TweetMyJobs and I’ll have information on them at the event.

On the Brazen Careerist Networking Roulette event this week, many people revealed that they are nervous about networking because they feel that they have little to offer, especially when they are in job seeking mode. Every one of you has something to offer and don’t forget that!

So to get prepared for the event on Wednesday, here is some Networking 101 Advice.

1. Bring business cards.

Job seekers often ask if they should have business cards printed and my answer is “Absolutely!” How do you expect people to know how to contact you in the future? When you’re going to a networking event, your goal is to meet people who are going to become part of your network for a long time so you should always prepare  with that in mind.

We’ve been talking the Teach for America 20 Year Anniversary Summit this week on the blog, and I found attendees to be unskilled at networking, especially with business cards. Be prepared!

2. Get your elevator pitch ready.

Read my blog post on developing great elevator pitches. Don’t be afraid to have a call to action and be strong about it. Everyone has asked for help from other people and they remember. Some will also be excited to pay it forward to you.

3. Make a list of what you have to offer.

In addition the skills you have to offer to potential employers, you also have other things to offer every other person at the event, too. One is your ability to connect them to other people who would be interesting for either business or maybe even personal reasons. Spend some time this weekend reviewing your LinkedIn Connections and what they’re up to these days. If you don’t have a large network, you can also share information. People LOVE information that makes them step back and think, or new tips and tools that they can use in their lives to be more effective or efficient. What are cool, interesting, and helpful things that you read in the last month or so? What are some interesting magazines, articles, or blogs that you could read this weekend?

With the right preparation and attitude, everyone can be a great networker.

See you on Wednesday!

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

Event Reminder: Brazen Careerist Event Tonight

Just a reminder that we’re participating in our second free Brazen Careerist Speed Mentoring Event tonight at 8PM ET. We were very excited to see that we were featured in Their Ultimate Guide to Finding the Perfect Career Coach this week!

For information on how Speed Mentoring works, check out our post on the first event.

And while we’re talking reminders, don’t forget about our webinar this Thursday, February 17th at 7PM on 12 Career Assessment Steps for 2011. RSVP for login information.

Have a productive and happy day!

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

Join our Career Management Webinar on Thursday

Our busy week for The Opportunities Project starts NOW!

In addition to helping people find their passion and manage a results-driven job search, I also coach and consult with clients who want to manage their current careers more effectively. For example, I’m working with a client who is very happy in his job, but has a long-term (2-3 years) goal to become an entrepreneur. We are assessing his strengths, as well as gaps, and are building a plan that will attract more success when he is ready to make the jump. You may be in the same place- wondering if you really know what your next steps are for getting what you desire in your career now and in the future.

It’s about 45 days into the new year and many of your career resolutions may have been put on hold or are going slower than expected. Let me help you speed things up. I am hosting a FREE webinar this Thursday, February 17, 2011 at 7PM on 12 Career Assessment Steps for 2011. During the webinar, I am going to review DIY tips for anyone who is in the job search mode or thinking about how they can position themselves for success for a future change or promotion. The content is aimed at people at all levels in their career, from college students and entry-level workers to experienced professionals. Among the topics we’ll discuss on the webinar are

– the importance of setting process goals vs. outcome goals
– specific steps you can take to make yourself a better professional
– tips on how to improve your online and offline networking
– how to make a career management plan that’s doable

You can register for the webinar here.

In the meantime, watch this awesome 48 second inspiring video from Box of Crayons on 11 Powerful Words to Live By in 2011 to get you motivated to recommit to any resolutions you made this year. Box of Crayons is led by Michael Bungay Steiner, author of Do More Good Work, a book I recommend on my website. In addition, here is a blog post he wrote on strategies you can use to assess and plan for 2011. We’ll touch upon related ideas in the webinar, especially how you can introduce regular reflection into your goal setting for your career.

See you on Thursday at 7PM!

If you can’t come to this event, don’t forget to check out our News and Events page for more upcoming opportunities to learn and connect!

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

#TFA20 Tweetup This Weekend!

I’m attending the Teach for America 20 Year Anniversary Summit this weekend in Washington, DC. (I’m a 1997 New York corps member and you can read my blog post about my Teach for America experience here). There are 10,000 alumni expected at the summit and I’m excited to see old friends and make new ones. There is something to be said about meeting a stranger, saying the phrase “Moody Towers” and feeling like you’ve shared a lifetime of experiences.

I am co-hosting an in-person #TFA20 Tweetup for all the people at the conference who are tweeting it on Saturday in the Google Lounge. Two specific reasons why I am excited about the Tweetup:

1. It’s an opportunity to demonstrate the power of the digital democracy. The internet is full of stories of people who used social media to grow their network, find opportunities and eventually find a job, which is why it’s a tool I use in my career coaching and recruitment consulting. If WE can use to it connect personally and professionally and advocate for our causes, imagine what others can do to advocate for themselves?

2. It’s an opportunity to connect the great work of Teach for America alumni who are tackling different parts of our nation’s education problem. I left school district leadership because I saw that the children we were trying so hard to educate were not realizing economic opportunity because there is a college to career gap, one that grew after our economy changed forever in 2008. I know there are many alumni doing their part in new and inventive ways and I am looking forward to meeting them and learning more about what they do.

Here are the event details. See you there!

Teach for America 20 YearsThe Teach for America 20th Anniversary Summit #TFA20 Tweetup

Saturday, February 12 at 12:45 PM to 1:15 PM in the Google Lounge @ The Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C.

Tracy Brisson (1997 New York TFA Corps Member) of The Opportunities Project will be co-hosting an in-person Tweetup of Teach for America alumni and friends who use Twitter to connect and advocate for educational opportunity. For more information leading up to the event, and to follow the Tweetup in real-time, please follow @TFA20 and @oppsproject on Twitter, as well as the hashtag #TFA20.

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

Today’s Housekeeping Post: Updates, Events, News

Happy Monday! I wanted to start the week with some housekeeping updates. There’s a lot happening at The Opportunities Project and you should all know the latest.

Website Updates

After almost six months in business, I took some time to look at my data, which included looking at my website analytics and my sales and lead data that I record in my Batchbook CRM (thanks to my friend Michelle Ward, the When I Grow Up Coach, for inspiring me). Based on my analysis, I am making some structural changes to my website so that certain pages convert better (damn you, About page!) and reflect The Opportunities Project’s values and new programs. Here is an overview of some of the changes I’m making.

– Changing and streamlining blog categories

– Adding new coaching programs and solidifying my pricing now that I have a better sense of the market

– Focusing back on events, my biggest sales lead

– Redesigning the home page with content being moved to new versions of the About and Services pages

– Experimenting with some color on the home page

– Increasing focus on my recruitment consulting services (just a little)

– Introducing a store with guides and e-courses for purchase (including some freebies!)

While I’m making these changes, you may see the same photo or content on more than one page while things get moved around. Thanks for understanding. Hopefully, all maintenance will be completed within the next ten days.

Promotion Updates

One of the changes that I have already made is an updated Promotions page. Here are some quick updates on our current promotions.

– Due to popular demand, I’m bringing back Pay What You Can Coaching (PWYCC) sessions on the 20th and 21st of every month. Apply for one of these slots before they fill up!

– I am officially launching my Referral Program for friends, readers and fans who know people who need a pragmatic and affordable career coach. Join to get 20% of the coaching sale back in your pocket and get your referral a discount.

– I’ve given away three scholarships since I started my business, all to initiatives for charity, and they’ve all been great experiences. I’ve decided I wanted to do my own scholarship program and am launching three of my own on Valentines Day…. because I love you. Awww. Details coming next Monday.

Speaking of scholarships, I also want to take a moment to give a shout-out to the client I’ve been working with through the Hired for the Holidays scholarship, Alexandra Patterson. Alexandra is an aspiring writer and is going to knock the socks off the organization that is lucky enough to land her as a summer intern. Her article Everything You Need to Know about Virtual Internships was published last week in USA TODAY College. Go Alexandra!

Events, Events, Events

I’ve posted some great events on our News and Events page. I’ll write blog posts on each as they get closer, but here are some very quick highlights.

– Two events I’m attending: NYC Social Media Week, Teach for America 20th Anniversary Summit

– Three Events I’m actively participating in: Second Brazen Careerist Speed Mentoring Event, Reach Out Job Search Radio, American Educational Research Association Conference

– Six (!) Events I’m hosting: #TFA20 Tweetup at the Teach for America 20th Anniversary Summit, 12 Career Assessment Steps for 2011 (webinar), a NYC Cocktails and Careers Networking event, a LinkedIn workshop, a Building Soft Skills/Interviews workshop, a social media webinar for schools and school districts

I expect to add three more virtual events and two possible in-person events in March.

Press Appearances

I updated our Press page to include a shiny media kit I’ve been working on since November. You can view it on SlideShare or download a PDF version. I also added two really great January 2011 press mentions that made me very proud and happy about the career choices I’ve made this year.

– I was named one of the top five career coaches for serious job seekers by YouTern, a company that commits to matching organizations with talented interns. I was honored to be in such good company.

– The Ladders ran a story on best practices for using Applicant Tracking Systems to improve quality of hire and the system I developed as the Director of Teacher Recruitment for the NYC Public Schools was featured. Kind of awesome.

Questions about these changes and updates? Leave them in the comments.


Are you in New York City and want to be the first to hear about our events? Join our Strategic Career Starts Meetup group!

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

Career Exploration and Tribes at Social Media Week 2011

I’ve been plugging along on some serious papers and future blog posts on education and the economy. This work has interested and engaged me, butit’s been intense. Luckily, I had some other experiences this week that were as absorbing, but also lightened things up, all courtesy of social networking.

On Wednesday, I had a great conversation over coffee about the potential that coaching has for Millennials with fellow mission-driven coach Brett Kunsch of Kunbre Life Coaching. We first met online through our active participation on Brazen Careerist. In the afternoon, I met with Alisha Miranda, a fearless marketing and events professional who I connected with on Twitter. We co-worked together in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn for about four hours and our co-working included sharing some uninterrupted writing time and bouncing business questions off of each other. Wednesday made me reflect on how much my life has changed over the last year. In February 2010, I worked for one of the largest organizations in the country, but felt disconnected to people. Today, I officially work alone, but feel 100% more connected because I’ve met my “tribe”- like minded people who want to do both good and well, each on their own path. And I’ve met almost all of them first online.

During our co-working, Alisha told me about a panel she was working on for New York Social Media Week, which is taking place next week (February 7 to 11). I’ve had Social Media Week on my calendar the last two years, but never made it to one event. I am not sure how I almost missed the whole thing this year! Thanks to Alisha’s tip, I registered for some specific career and education related events (listed on my News and Events page and all free). One of the things that struck me the most is the sheer number of opportunities to learn and network about different careers in the Social Media Week schedule. In fact, I don’t think I have seen such a tremendous number of intriguing industry centered workshops in my life! Whether you’re interested in fashion, finance, international relations, government, or nutrition, there’s an event for you. And that’s just Monday’s schedule!

In career management, the most important things we offer are our relationships and knowledge. If you’re not an avid user of social media, and aren’t sure you want to be or are afraid of calling a Tweet by the wrong name, it’s okay. But you still should keep an open mind and take advantage of these opportunities. Only a small percentage of us get to live in an awesome city like New York City that has events like this. More importantly, you have no idea who will be sitting next to you and who they know or what you’ll learn. When we talk about social media, many of us think of it as something superficial, like millions of tweens talking about Justin Bieber, or a great force, like what’s happening in Egypt today. We forget that social networking also carries great personal power for individuals, one exchange at a time. Don’t miss the opportunity to have your version of the exchanges I had and the resulting relationships I built this week.

Want to get one-on-one help with social media and your career? Book Tracy for a Career Consulting Session and learn how to use social networking to find opportunities and build social credibility.

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog