This posting comes from HAPPEN member Michelle Gillies.  Thanks Michelle.


Every day we hear of more cutbacks, job losses and hiring freezes. The broadcasting and communications industry seem to be at the lead where this is concerned. Simply put, it’s cold out there…very, very cold! People who are employed wake up every day, feel the chill and no longer complain about their job. Now they are just happy to have one. But they worry how about when they might lose it. Will they be the next one out in the cold? Whether they are next or not, my suggestion would be to start preparing now.

The number one way to keep your feet warm, is to network. Learn to network properly and don’t ever stop. (voice of experience here − I’ve learned my lesson). As a member of CWC (Canadian Women in Communication), WIFT (Women In Film and Television) and Toastmasters, I have a very good foundation to start with − one that I have only recently utilized. I have, however, stumbled across one of the best kept secrets in networking. HAPPEN. HAPPEN is Canada’s largest networking group for executives in transition. There’s that word…”transition”. I prefer to use “between engagements”.

From the second you step into a HAPPEN meeting you know you have come in from the cold. Through weekly meetings at various locations, HAPPEN members participate in career-building seminars. They share business contacts and job leads, personal and professional experiences, approaches and insights and one can gain access to many unadvertised positions. HAPPEN offers a warm, inviting, professional atmosphere and is completely run by volunteers who are dedicated to bringing together and supporting people in transition. I receive words of encouragement on a daily basis. I hear anecdotes of experience, get suggestions and advice, and often receive contacts or job leads from HAPPEN members and former members who are now employed. When questions arise, they are put to the group and within minutes you could have a dozen solid answers. Every member has one goal in mind ­– to find you a job. While we’re helping one another, something else can “happen” – you may find what you need. It makes me warm just thinking about it.

For more about HAPPEN or to find a meeting in your area visit www.happen.ca and here's Michelle's webpage: http://silkpurseproductions.wordpress.com