So, when I built this web site my intention was to keep my personal/art life separate from my working life. This site was to be for art/teaching and personal events (vacations, adorable pictures of my best friend’s kittens, you know the important stuff). My situation has changed the landscape of what I thought I wanted to do with this site. While it will still be primarily about art, teaching and personal stuff, there are so many exciting things going on in my professional life that I want to share. So, I’m breaking my “rules” and this is my first career-related post.

A few weeks ago (Memorial Day night to be exact) my best friend was surfing the web and sent me a link to a web site, ProLango, which is a behavorial coaching firm run by Paul Anderson. Paul has an interesting history (having worked at both Expedia and Microsoft) and his manner and style are open and infectious. Anyway, Paul was offering a series of free 1-hour seminars on “getting a job” in today’s market. My best friend thought I should attend one and even though I was feeling down I decided to attend.

It was a great thing I did because I left that seminar feeling energized about my search and armed with a tree-top level of new information and techniques. I’ve since enrolled in Paul’s 12-week Career Bootcamp. While not free, Paul has significantly reduced the cost of the bootcamp and I feel the rewards are well worth what I paid. In addition to meeting with Paul as a group for 1++ hours each week, bootcampers also attend three 5-hour seminars (Career 2.0, Resume 2.0, and Interviewing 2.0). Paul starts a new bootcamp every 12 weeks or so and I believe he limits the number of campers in each for a beneficial “leader to student” ratio.

As part of bootcamp we have to commit to being one of the following each week (and we can’t “go back” to an easier level once we’ve committed to a higher one): Minimalist (connect with 5 friends/former colleagues), Standard (5 strategic connections w/strangers), or Superstar (10 strategic connections w/strangers). This is how we build and refine our network and having a strong network is how we move forward in our career. Right now I’m a standard. Networking is not my favorite thing but I have the proof of its value so I’m out there connecting. It’s been good for me; to get out of the house, meet new people, and find ways make meaningful connections.

I encourage you to check out one of the free seminars if you live in metro Seattle. Paul is able to offer these seminars free of charge thanks to his partnership with thinkspace, a “virtual office” provider in Redmond. To learn more about the suite of services offered by thinkspace, visit them at: thinkspace.

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