Vol 44, Issue 4

March/April 2005

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Share the Knowledge

January Event

by Jewel Darby, Senior Staff Information Developer, NetIQ Corporation

The STC-Houston Employment Committee and the Consultants and Independent Contractors Special Interest Group (CIC SIG) hosted a Share the Knowledge (STK) event on January 15, 2005 in Tomball, Texas. While Tomball may seem far from some parts of the “Greater Houston Area,” 62 members and non-members thought the drive was worthwhile for this all-day employment and free-agent event.

Gary Foster, chair of the STC-Houston Employment Committee, and Jocelyn Williams, chair of the CIC SIG, coordinated efforts to share knowledge targeted to job seekers and independent consultants. Four speakers at a time presented to intimate groups of 5 to 15 people who, after each hour, could choose another topic, as they rotated to another part of the room. The following speakers presented the morning Employment sessions:

  • Terry Devlin – “Marketing Yourself in Today's Market”
  • George Slaughter – “Adding Value as an Employee (Keeping Your Job)”
  • Jocelyn Williams – “Creating Online Résumés and Conducting an Internet Job Search”
  • Linda Price – “Effective Interviewing”

Using a personal web site as an interactive demonstration of your skills, Jocelyn Williams says, can show off your capabilities better than a résumé alone can. You can't skip the basics, so a résumé, and the importance of providing exactly the information the job description requests, is critical in your job search. Jocelyn demonstrated in which situations you should choose a chronological or a functional résumé.

Terry Devlin, from BH Careers, showed how to expand your network and the remarkable results you can achieve when you tap third-level contacts. By asking friends and relatives (first-level contacts) for referrals to people who might help you (second-level), you move to a realm of greater influence. When you ask for referrals from your second-level contacts (third-level), you move into a dramatically new sphere of influence where remarkable things happen. Mr. Devlin suggests that you can get a job more quickly when you expand your network to the third level and beyond.

Using the analogy of a martial artist, George Slaughter suggested applying Zen lessons to help you improve your perceived value as an employee. One lesson was to "Present yourself with confidence." Easier said, than done, I thought. But then George shared Hall of Fame football coach Vince Lombardi's definition of confidence with the group. Lombardi was a Latin teacher before becoming a football coach, and he said that "confidence" comes from two Latin words. Con is Latin for with, and fidel is Latin for faith. So George translated the lesson to, "Present yourself with faith," making the lesson, and achieving it, more accessible.

Linda Price presented two perspectives of the interview process: as a prospective employee and as the interviewer. In this interactive session, Ms. Price offered tips for how to greet your interviewer with confidence yet remain humble during what can be a stressful situation. Ms. Price and the session participants shared useful and effective techniques to handle this special and important meeting.

The afternoon was devoted to free-agency sessions, including the following speakers and topics:

  • Jatika Manigault – “Defining Your Personal Brand”
  • Joan Bolmer – “Demonstrating Your Value to Clients”
  • James Bratsakis – “Financial Security for Free Agents: Insurance and Retirement Packages”

In an intimate session of five, Jatika Manigault applied her enthusiasm to helping each member of the group discover, define, and refine their personal “brand.” She encourages that only you can be the best you there is.

Joan Bolmer turned the tables on “schmoozing” to practical ways to market yourself, your skills, and your accomplishments so that clients, bosses, and colleagues perceive greater value from everything you do. A professional coach, Ms. Bolmer presents a wealth of practical and valuable information on her web site at www.bolmer.com, and offered attendees a free consultation.

James Bratsakis of Klene and Bratsakis discussed ways free agents can build insurance and financial packages. Because free agents cannot depend on employers to provide benefit plans, it's important that they research business plans, personal and estate plans, and which employee benefit plans are best for them. Mr. Bratsakis offered handouts on a variety of topics, including benefit and contribution limits, IRA and 401(k) plan rollover tips, and a newsletter, Let's Talk Money.

While some attended the informal sessions, Ron Kirk, an independent contractor, David Woody, from Zatric, and Larisa Tidwell from ADE Solutions, a national provider of customized staffing solutions, were available to review résumés and portfolios. These professionals made suggestions to make résumés stronger and help get that all important interview.

Jocelyn Williams, Gary Foster, and their committees orchestrated a superb event. The Tomball Church of Christ building was well suited, offering in-the-round seating areas, and included a spacious kitchen area perfect for serving the breakfast, brunch, and lunch snacks Gary and Jocelyn had arranged. Ron Kirk and Gary Foster also captured the event in photos.

Gary Foster and Jocelyn Williams extend their thanks to Anella Foster, George Slaughter, Steve Shriver, Angela Livingston, Louise Horton, Linda Price, Terry Devlin, Ron Kirk, David Woody, Larisa Tidwell, Lorie Schaub, and Marilyn Smith.

The STC-Houston Chapter Employment Committee plans to host another Employment Share the Knowledge event this summer. Stay tuned to your STC-Houston newsletter for information about upcoming events.

Seminar Speaker Contact Information

Joan Bolmer joan@bolmer.com
James Bratsakis jim@kleneandbratsakis.com
Terry Devlin tdevlin@bhcareers.com
Linda Price Linda.Price@vftis.spx.com
Jatika Manigault jmanigault@deloitte.com
George Slaughter gslaughter@flex.net
Jocelyn Williams jocelyn.v.williams@exxonmobil.com

Share the Knowledge Photos

Anella Foster

Jatika Manigault

George Slaughter


Joan Bolmer

Ron Kirk and David Woody

Ellen Raghavan and Susan May


Larisa Tidwell

Linda Price

Susan May


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