The Back Story on the CEO of ME, Inc. and the ETP Network

When I was a Human Resources recruiter at J. P. Morgan, I became fascinated with the success rate achieved by recruiting agencies. They always had a sharp eye for talent and a good understanding of what the client wanted. This didn’t really surprise me — after all, it's what made them good business owners. In addition, they asked great questions, and when they submitted a proposal (i.e., a resume) for a client, it was dead on. But what I really wanted to know was what made them so outstanding at their work.

I used to visit these agencies and talk with people at their desks in an attempt to learn from them. They gave me an almost exclusive look at what went on behind the scenes. I quickly saw that the agency had clear-cut business divisions, e.g., R & D, Sales & Marketing, etc… and they were executing daily operations just like a well-managed company.

I began to ask myself: If this successful business model worked so well for recruiting agencies, what would happen if we adapted it for individuals? Could it work? This is how I came up with the idea of combining good, solid networking skills, a CEO of ME, Inc. mind set, the development of a powerful value proposition and integrating all three of them into a logically-sequenced job search methodology. This power combination was the first step in giving my methodology the “teeth” it needed to put The Black Hole out of business.

By requiring ETP Network members to be accountable to their Personal Board of Directors, they must confront and resolve whatever conflict might exist between “low road negative thinking” and the “high road well-being of their own families.” When you realize that you’re making smart, solid and informed decisions that are in the best interests of your family, a whole spectrum of possibilities opens up. You’re doing the right thing — and you know it!

Best wishes and keep networking alive,

Rod Colón,
Chief Executive Officer

Empowering Today’s Professionals Network
Running the Business of "ME"

Order Your Copy of My Book Today – Win The Race For 21st Century Jobs

Connect with me on:

Sunday Radio Show with Rod Colon

YOUR CAREER IS CALLING Sunday Radio Show w/Rod Colon and Frank Kovacs Broadcast from Rider University Radio Station in New Jersey
Date: 19 September 2010, Sunday 08:00 AM

Make Your Career Your Business. Tune Into 107.7 The Bronc Sunday, September 19, 2010 at 8:00 AM EST, For Your Career Is Calling

September 19, 2010 8:00AM EST
Your Weekly Appointment For Career Choices, Decisions And Success. Rider University Alum and founder of the TheBreakfastClubNJ, Frank Kovacs And CEO Of The Empowering Today's Professionals (ETP) Rod Colon, Are Your Hosts For Sixty Minutes Of Career Coaching, Taking Your Calls, On Networking Etiquette, The Interview And More To Help Land Your Dream Job.
It’s The Only Radio Program, Designed To Help Empower Career Professionals And Students Reach Your Career Goals. Your Career Is Calling, Debuts Sunday, September Nineteenth At 8:00EST A-M Only On 107.7 The Bronc And 107.7 The Bronc Dot Com.
More information and online registration: YOUR CAREER IS CALLING Sunday Radio Show w/Rod Colon and Frank Kovacs

Have an awesome day!!

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Use Facebook Places to Boost Business and Lift Sales

After the initial buzz dies down, most of the chatter surrounding Facebook Places -- the just-now-released location-based check-in tool -- will likely focus on how it might affect similar social networking tools like Foursquare, Loopt, Gowalla and Whrrl. Oh, there will be some discussion of privacy concerns to be sure, but what will be left out of the equation is any serious talk about how you can use Facebook Places to grow your business.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. A Facebook Place page -- once you've staked your claim on it -- enables your customers to see a map from their iPhone or other mobile device that includes your business (the Place) and a list of their Facebook friends and associates who are currently checked in at your business. It also includes a Friend Activity stream comprised of other friends who have stopped in at the Place at one time or another.

In addition, your Place page can feature information about your business, and you can put up a story about your Place page on your Facebook profile simply by hitting the "Share" button on the page. Place pages differ from Facebook pages and Community pages in that they are only added if your customers decide to "Like" those pages. According to my Facebook contact, Page admins will be able to merge their Place page with their official Page on Facebook.

The bottom line is this: If your goal is to attract attention to your business, Facebook Places is a tool you definitely need in your social networking arsenal. Use the following to make the task of setting up a Place page easier:

1.The first thing you must do as an owner, manager or representative of your business is to verify to Facebook that you are who you say you are. Find the Place on Facebook that you want to claim for your particular business and then click the link that reads, "Is this your business?"

2.You will then be asked to complete a simple verification procedure that will enable you to "claim" your Place as your own. Following this step, Facebook will provide some additional steps in order to create a new Place. You'll be asked to access the application on your iPhone using the new Facebook app, or another web-enabled mobile device. Once you "Check In," you'll be asked to click the "Add" button and then enter a name for the new Place. You'll also be offered the option of providing a description of your business.

3.After that, you can describe what it is you're doing at the new Place and begin tagging Facebook fans and friends. Click "Check In" and you're ready to share your visit. And now that you've got your newly created Place of your own, your friends, customers and the general public can find your Place while perusing Facebook or the Places application.
What you don't want to do is read the above and tell yourself you've got to get around to doing what I suggest someday soon. It's critical, I feel, that you claim your Facebook Place now! It's a lot like claim jumping in the Old West. By staking your Place now, you and only you can control its physical address, hours of operation, detailed contact information, profile image, administrators and more.

At this stage of the game, it's way too early to determine the ultimate value that using Facebook Places can have on your business. What I do know is that this latest offering from Facebook gives your customers and potential customers a means to promote your business by checking in and then telling their friends about you.

Now that you've established your "claim" and you own your Facebook Place, it's time to start promoting your business through advertising on your Page. Again, the process is simple: Just click on the ad creation flow and pick your Place from the menu.

While it's the local businesses that stand to gain the most from Facebook Places, every business should determine how best to leverage the new tool to their benefit. For instance, you can reward your customers who say nice things about your business. Customers who are willing to post pictures or kind or constructive comments about your enterprise might receive discounts on your products or services, as an example. The same goes for those who share their experiences with your business on Facebook or Twitter.

You can reward those who visit your Facebook Places account the minute they open the page with colorful coupons, specials or discounts. And to make the experience more challenging and fun for your customers, you can host contests, offering gifts or discounts to those who "check in" with your Place the most often, or those who bring potential customers to your Place page by word of mouth.

Promotion is not limited to the internet. You can get the word out inside your business by posting signs on the windows or providing flyers or cards that encourage customers to check in at your Facebook Place to receive special offers. If retail isn't your game, promote your Places-related offering in company eNewsletters and other email marketing pieces, at trade shows, on your businesses Facebook page, and of course via a badge on your website or company blog.

By: Mikal Belicove of Daily Dose

NFM101 Finance and Accounting for the Non-Financial Manager

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28223-0001 ~ 704-687-UNCC (8622)

Attend one of our FREE Information Sessions!

Finance and Accounting for Non-Financial Managers is a 3-day series that provides an introduction to accounting, and its processes for financial evaluation. The program will target organizational stakeholders heavily involved in goal setting and decision making processes. Participants will learn how to read financial statements and reports to formulate strategic business plans. Emphasis will be placed on understanding assets, liabilities, capital, return on investment, risk management, balance sheets, cost accounting, cash flow, and strategies for better communication with financial professionals.

As Charlotte faces challenges with most industries suffering job losses, opportunities for new industries in the area will increase the need for a well-qualified adaptable workforce that can transfer their skills to any career field. In fact, it is projected that Charlotte will see 7,000 new jobs in leadership and management by 2014. Finance and Accounting for Non-Financial Managers will provide any individual seeking leadership roles with a broad knowledge of finance and accounting to make the best decisions for any organization.

Key Topics:

* Basic Accounting
* The Organization and Accounting
* Financial Statements
* Financial Analysis
* Budgeting Principles
* Risk Management & Decision-Making

Included textbook: Finance and Accounting for Non-Financial Managers, 6th Edition (2010), By William Droms & Jay Wright.


Day 1

Introduction to Financial Statements

* The Balance Sheet
* Book Value of Securities
* Income Statement
* Statement of Cash Flows
* Supplemental Pro Forma or Operating Earnings
* Accumulated and Retained Earnings
* Sarbanes-Oxley and Financial Statements

Financial Statement Analysis

* Ratio Analysis
* Common-size Statement Analysis
* Sequence of Analysis
* Financial Statement Case Study/Practical Exercise

Day 2

Financial Forecasting and Budgeting

* Operating, Cash, and Capital Budgets
* Break Even Analysis
* Compound Growth Definition/Calculation
* Setting Budget Targets/Budget Variances
* Case Study/Practical Exercise

Accounting: A Financial Information System

* Introduction to the Accounting Process and Cycle
* Accrual Concept
* Double-entry Accounting
* Depreciation Accounting
* Changes in Equity Account

Day 3

Capital Management and Investments

* Working Capital Investments
* Accounts Payable and Receivable
* Short-term and Long-term Financing
* Rate of Return
* Payback
* Profitability Index
* Present Value and Net Present Value
* Compound Interest
* Case Study/Practical Exercise

Business Valuation and Long-term Financing

* Bond Valuation
* Common and Preferred Stock Valuation
* Money and Capital Markets
* Intermediate and Long-term Debt
* Dividend Policy

Risk Management

* Fiduciary Duties & Governance
* Managing Business, Financial Reporting, and Fraud Risk

Certificate Requirements

In order to receive a certificate, participants must have attended 85% of all instructional clock hours.

For Program and Registration Questions:
Please call the Registration Center at 704-687-8900 or 1-877-741-0134 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., or email

Greetings! From the Institute for Entrepreneurship

Thinking about starting your own business? Or maybe you are an existing business owner seeking to boost your creativity and grow your entrepreneurial skills?

Whether you want to start, improve, or grow your business the Institute for Entrepreneurship is here to help you seek out new business opportunities, face challenges, and establish your business goals.

The fall session begins on August 16th. Now is the is the time to check our fall schedule, decide on what training best fits your business needs, and to take a moment to call to reserve a seat at 704-330-4223.

Hurry time is running out for courses that begin in this month like the Getting To the Core of Business: Strategic Development Program, and our New Ventures Certificate Program.

Featured offerings beginning in September are highlighted below.
How to Start and Operate a Business SBX7301
Open sign in window
Are you dreaming of opening your own business?

There are many elements to consider when launching a venture including legalities, startup costs, financial needs, taxation and insurance needs. Discover how you can be one of the thousands of successful small business owners in the country by learning the key elements that will ensure your success. Cost: $189

Date: 9/7/2010 - 9/30/2010
Days: Tuesdays & Thursdays
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Location: Central Campus
Register: 704-330-4223

Course Outline Registration
From Grant Writing to Grant Seeking SBX7468

Baffled by the thought of grants and not sure where to begin?

Discover how to do the research, weigh the options, build
relationships, incorporate what is needed in the proposals and
submit them for funding. With step-by-step guidance you will
become an effective grant seeker and will be on your way to
writing a winning proposal. Cost $99

Date: 9/8/2010 - 9/29/2010
Days: Wednesdays
Time: 6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Location: Central Campus
Register: 704-330-4223

Course Outline Registration
Income Taxes: Important Issues
for Small Business Owners SBX7450
Tax forms
What are my tax responsibilities as a business owner?

Gain information and instruction about business taxes, tax benefits, and obligations connected with starting and operating a small business. Topics discussed will include reporting and record keeping requirements, payroll taxes, independent contractors, estimated taxes, choice of tax entity and business deductions. Cost: $69

Date: 9/21/2010 - 9/23/2010
Days: Tuesdays/Thursdays
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Location: Central Campus
Register: 704-330-4223

Course Outline Registration
Accounting & QuickBooks SBX 7439 & 7440

Just getting started?

Begin with "Basic Accounting with QuickBooks." Accounting is a necessity for small business owners and will help you make wise decisions about your business. Learn the fundamentals of accounting and how it relates within QuickBooks to simplify the set
up of your bookkeeping system. Discover the basics of accounting
and understand the chart of accounts and what happens when bills,
checks and invoices are entered.
Cost: $89

Date: 9/8/2010 - 9/10/2010
Days: Wednesday/Friday
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Location: Levine Campus
Register: 704-330-4223

Course Outline Registration

Already know the basics?

Jump right in to Level I and discover everything that QuickBooks 2010 can do for you. Use this computerized program to set your company's chart of accounts, receive payments, pay bills, create lists, track cash sales, enter bills, create invoices, make deposits, reconcile bank accounts and write checks in order to more easily manage your financial decisions. Don't waste time through trial and error learning. Master the fundamentals by enrolling in our QuickBooks Level I course. Cost: $169
Date: 9/15/2010 - 9/29/2010
Days: Wednesday/Friday
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Location: Levine Campus
Register: 704-330-4223

Course Outline Registration
Featured Seminars

Nonprofit Trends SBX 7884-501
Nonprofit organizations are an integral part of today's society. Trend analysis is critical for start-up and established nonprofit organizations and helps them prepare for sustainability and growth. Stay "in the know" to plan and prepare for your nonprofit success! Free.

Date: Wednesday, September 1
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Location: North Campus

Start Your Business Now SBX 7525-502
What do you really need to start your own business? Much more than luck! Come listen and learn about the key business elements that are critical to your success. Free.

Date: Tuesday, September 14
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Location: Cato Campus

Choosing Your Legal Structure SBX 7812-501
Which legal structure is best for your business - sole proprietorship, S-Corporation, partnership, or LLC? Choosing the right business entity is an important step in setting up your business. Learn the advantages and disadvantages of each. Free.

Date: Monday, September 20
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Location: Institute for Entrepreneurship

The New Manager/Entrepreneur: What You Need To Know SBX 7889-501
Do you want to learn how to manage your business to maturity? Succeed by learning the key management skills needed to get to the next level. Discover the importance of managing employees, resources and the variety of new challenges you will face as your business moves through the stages of growth. Free.

Date: Monday, September 27
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Location: Central Campus

To register for seminars please call 704-330-4223 or register online.

UNEMPLOYMENT - Libraries branch out into job-hunting centers

Public libraries around the Bay Area and the country have emerged as vital resource centers for the growing hordes of job hunters. With free Internet access, tons of information online and in print, knowledgeable staffs and convenient locations, public libraries are attracting unemployed folks like never before.

Libraries have risen to the challenge, holding classes on resume writing and job interviewing, subscribing to specialized job databases, offering online prep courses for civil service and other exams, amassing materials on starting businesses, creating Web sites on career development and even offering free career counseling. Recently, the nation's libraries agreed to collaborate with the U.S. Department of Labor to more effectively help job seekers.

Last year, 30 million people reported turning to their public library for help in their job quest, 6.9 million did some job-related training at library computers and 3.7 million found work using a library computer.

"There's a hunger out there for information on job hunting," said Luis Herrera, city librarian of San Francisco. The library attracts capacity crowds to its class on how to find a job online, and there is huge demand for its classes covering basic computer skills - something many displaced workers lack.

Around the Bay Area, Livermore's spacious library opened an entire job center, Free2Succeed, staffed by a professional career adviser. San Mateo's main branch has marshaled volunteers with experience in human resources who meet one-on-one with jobless patrons. The new Walnut Creek library has an entire room devoted to job hunting. The Fremont Main Library holds a course that delves into the breadth of resources available to job hunters.

Livermore a leader
The Livermore Public Library has been in the vanguard of the trend.

A couple of years ago, said Leila Swisher, supervising librarian, the staff noticed a big increase in patron requests for job-hunting help.

"Many of these patrons were unfamiliar with the latest trends in seeking employment, particularly in an electronic environment," she said. "It was apparent that the library could benefit from having expertise on staff in the area of career advising."

The library received grant funds to create Free2Succeed, with an adviser who offers free 90-minute private counseling sessions and runs classes on job-hunting.

Megan Pittsley ran Free2Succeed from its fall 2008 opening until recently and now works as a career adviser while also consulting with other libraries on how to create job centers.

"Once word got out, I had people coming up from Modesto to see me," she said.

The San Mateo Public Library also offers free one-on-one career counseling.

"Like libraries across the country, during this difficult period we're seeing more members of the community who are displaced and laid off looking for resources at the library to help with their job hunt," said Ben Ocon, city librarian. "We began to see this as an important area to match our resources with those looking for help."

The library turned to its cadre of volunteers and found 19 with backgrounds in human resources. In February, they started offering individual job counseling at the main branch. So far, about 717 community members have met with the volunteers.

"They provide a lot of morale-building support; sometimes it helps just to talk to someone who understands what it is to be looking for work," Ocon said.

As the Fremont Main Library was inundated with job seekers, Gertrude Rooshan, business specialist, developed an eight-week course to provide more in-depth help than basic resume-writing courses.

It covers such topics as researching salary ranges and finding "hidden jobs" - those filled before they're advertised.

"Craigslist is important, but it's not the best way to find a job," she said. "I realized we could do better by showing people all the other resources that are available."

Librarians say that assisting job hunters is a natural extension of their role as information navigators.

"Libraries are about helping people find the resources they need to be successful," said Stacey Aldrich, state librarian of California. "Workforce development at libraries has been accelerating over the last two years and has skyrocketed this year."

When the state library surveyed California's eight regional library cooperative systems earlier this year, all asked for more access to online job resources, Aldrich said.

Support for community
"The most unanimous thing every region said was that they wanted to do something with jobs to support their communities," she said.

In response, the state library is awarding grants for libraries to subscribe to online services that offer live interactive help with resumes and job interviews and to purchase more computers for job hunters' use.

Increasingly libraries are finding community partners to help meet job hunters' needs, Aldrich said. Often that may mean working with One-Stop Career Centers.

The Dublin library, for instance, has teamed up with a One-Stop center to offer classes and individual appointments at the library, said Peggy Watson, head of branches for the Alameda County Library system.

At the national level, collaboration between libraries and the government job-hunting system was recently formalized.

"As the nation has struggled through the recent economic downturn, libraries were inundated with people seeking help with employment-related issues," said Mary Chute, deputy director for libraries at the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The institute, a grant-making federal agency, in June joined the Department of Labor to encourage the workforce investment system and the country's libraries to collaborate to help job seekers. It has awarded grants to assess libraries' needs, provide nationwide workforce development training for librarians and develop a job-hunting curriculum that libraries can adapt to their communities.

Many displaced workers may not find another traditional job but instead will create their own by starting a small business. There too, libraries can be key, Chute said.

"Lots of times we find that the local library serves as the office for people doing startup business work," she said, citing developing business plans, studying applicable laws, researching competitors, learning the nuts and bolts of setting up payroll and getting insurance, as examples of information available at the library.

Entrepreneurial research
Both the LoJack car-theft prevention device and Duck Boat tours were started by entrepreneurs who did all their initial research at the public library, she said.

Libraries all point to the unfortunate timing of having their budgets slashed just as demand for their services is surging, but say they will continue to adapt to best serve patrons.

"I don't think retooling yourself will ever go out of style," Chute said. "In the spirit of 21st century skills, I think libraries will be prepared not only to reinvent library services in the most responsible way but to help patrons themselves reinvent what they have to offer."

More people using library computers
In belt-tightening times, fewer people have a computer and Internet access at home. Sometimes, the library is the only way to go online for free.

-- More than 77 million people over age 14 used a library computer last year.

-- 30 million people used library computers to help address career and employment needs.

-- Among these users, 76 percent searched for jobs online.

-- Among job seekers, 68 percent went on to apply for a job or submit a resume.

-- 23 percent used library computers to receive job-related training.

-- 3.7 million people reported finding work using a library computer.

-- 88 percent of public libraries provide access to job databases and other job opportunity resources.

-- 67 percent of libraries report that staff members helped patrons complete online job applications last year.

-- Nearly 90 percent of public libraries offer formal or informal technology training to library patrons.

-- 67 percent of libraries report they are the only provider of free public access to computers and the Internet in their communities.

Sources: Institute of Museum and Library Sciences, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, American Library Association

By Carolyn Said, Chronicle Staff Writer
E-mail Carolyn Said at San Francisco Chronicle 2010

The Nine Worst Job Interview Body Language Gaffes

They can cost you your chance at getting hired.

Those behaviors "are just a distraction," says Rosemary Haefner, CareerBauilder's vice president of human resources. "You're there to talk about your experiences, and that message can get lost." They can be worse than a distraction, too, a sign that you're very nervous, not confident that you'd be up to the job.

You've managed to create a résumé with no typos anywhere, sent it out to all the best places, gotten a call to go on an actual job interview and spent money you don't have on a new suit. Now you've got to face that make-it-or-break-it personal appearance with your potential new employer. Don't slouch or twirl your hair once you're there. If you do, you may be done for.

The jobs website recently asked more than 2,500 hiring managers across the country what body language mistakes were most likely to cost job candidates their shot at employment. The behaviors ranged from the obvious (playing with your hair) to the subtle (not smiling).

At the top of the list is a lack of eye contact. Some 67% of the managers said that's a deal breaker. Other problematic moves include not smiling, touching your face and using too many hand gestures.

Haefner has heard stories of candidates knocking over cups of coffee, glasses of water and stacks of paper with wild, windmill-like hand gestures. One candidate sat on the very edge of a chair for the entire interview, prompting the manager to ask, "Are you OK? I'm worried you're going to fall." Others have given handshakes so feeble their interviewers "weren't sure there was a breathing body on the other end," she says.

The cause can be overconfidence as well as nervousness, Haefner says. No matter how strong your résumé is, she stresses, hiring managers look at the "overall candidate package," and that includes looking and acting the part.

Sara Peck of

A wave of women entrepreneurs may be coming

There I was at another conference in Silicon Valley with another panel on female entrepreneurs, who appeared to be reaching a familiar conclusion: There aren't enough of them.

The moderator, sitting on a stage at Stanford University with six female CEOs, noted dejectedly how hard it was to find six female CEOs. A man sitting up front shouted, "And it's a shame." There were nods and applause and murmurs of agreement.

And it is a shame. But maybe it's a shame we won't live with for much longer. In fact, there are encouraging signs that a new wave of female entrepreneurs is positioning itself to erode the historic gender imbalance in high-tech entrepreneurship.

My optimism comes from two key sources.

First, I caught up with Carol Realini, one of the CEOs on stage at the conference. I asked her for her take on female entrepreneurship in the valley.

It is better for women, she said, even better than just 10 years ago. More women are being taken seriously and doing serious things. She is not hearing, as she once did, that women can't be CEOs or that women can't raise money, though raising venture capital is apparently still tougher for women than men.

So, what's it going to take in 2010, I asked Realini, for us to see more women starting and running companies?

"The challenge of being a woman CEO is, one, you've got to get in the game. So, you have to be willing to try," says Realini, CEO of Obopay, a Redwood City mobile
payment company. "And it's intimidating, especially if you've never done it before."

Realini knows something about this. Here is a woman, after all, who's sold one company, taken another public and is working on her third, for which she's raised $140 million in five years.

And listening to her, it strikes me that in some ways this is a numbers game. Historically more men have come through the technology education pipeline. That means more men have risen to top positions in tech companies. And that means more men have started and taken companies public, securing the money and credibility that leads to investment and more startups. More have filled the chairs of venture partners, who decide which ideas get funded and which ones don't.

Of course women are capable of doing the same things, Realini said. Here is what it takes: You've got to know how to raise money. And to do that you have to know how to navigate the world of venture capital.

Then you have to be fearless and tireless and ready to have people tell you no many times over. You have to be smart and wise. You have to be confident and prepared to ask for and accept help from those who might know more than you do. You have to stick by your guns and be flexible and be ready to give up your private life for your work life for some length of time.

I mentioned to Realini that every bit of advice she has for female entrepreneurs holds true for men.

"I would say the same thing," she says. "It is not about women. A man's got the same challenges and a male entrepreneur, a black entrepreneur, a gay entrepreneur, they're all going to have the same challenges."

Which is where my second source of optimism comes in: A recent paper by Oakland venture capitalist Cindy Padnos shows that women are increasingly positioning themselves in the same way men have historically. Women are putting themselves into the game, as Realini might say.

Citing a long list of academic and industry studies and original research, Padnos argues convincingly that many more women are starting companies, taking them public and providing investors with bigger returns on smaller investments. And yet woman-led companies are still sorely underrepresented when it comes to landing venture capital for their enterprises. (You can find the white paper at paper.)

It seems inevitable, though, that the money will catch up with the reality that more women are working on profitable ideas. And no doubt more successful startup women will move over to the venture side and become the people who decide who gets funded next.

It's only a matter of time. My advice to wannabe female entrepreneurs: Don't be patient.

By Mike Cassidy
Mercury News Columnist

Contact Mike Cassidy at
or 408-920-5536. Follow him at

Programs help older job hunters clear the age hurdle

Dressed in a fashionable black and gray striped button-down and with a Bluetooth device on his right ear, H.B. Staton looks more like 50 than his 70 years of age. The Carrollton resident has managed purchasing card programs at CompUSA and Vought Aircraft, but right now, he's looking for a job.

After recently losing his position, he's trying to stay positive.

"It's not easy," he said. But instead of hiding indoors, he grabbed his résumé and headed to a networking workshop.

With the economy down and people working and living longer, more and more older adults are turning to employment programs for help.

The Senior Source, a Dallas nonprofit agency, has seen its program's enrollment surge in the past two years, setting a record of 2,026 participants in 2009. A recent networking session drew more than 70 people. Its program is on track to meet or beat last year's figure.

Program participants brush up on job search basics, like how to make a good first impression, how to answer questions about desired salary and what to write in a post-interview thank-you note.

But they must also tackle challenges that are unique to their age group, such as dispelling stereotypes that they are not technology-savvy, take more sick days or are simply overqualified – obstacles that can keep them in the job search longer than younger people.

More than half a million people age 50 and older are unemployed and looking for work, according to June data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to a February study by the U.S. Department of Labor, workers age 55 and up have an average duration of joblessness of 35.5 weeks, compared with 23.3 weeks for job seekers between 16 and 24 and 30.3 weeks for those between 25 and 54.

In the Senior Source's interviewing workshops, networking events and other sessions, program director Renae Perry serves as both a teacher and a motivational speaker.

"If you don't think your age is an asset, how can you make your employer believe it?" she asked at an interviewing workshop held at the Plano Senior Center. "Don't let your age hold you back."

Seeing bias

Betty Belanger, 62, has seen age discrimination firsthand. The Plano resident lost her job when her employer, an information technology company, closed. She applied for a similar job at another company and made it to the final rounds.

"He [the interviewer] said, 'We have a certain culture here, and we think you won't fit,' " she said. "I felt like I was crossing the finish line, but I was actually hitting the wall."

Some companies, though, seek out older employees for their wealth of experience.

Michelle Minnick, a human resources business partner at BNY Mellon in Richardson, has hired older adults out of the Senior Source's program.

She says older job applicants should adopt "the mindset of being open to the current lay of the land, not so much with one foot behind but choosing to move forward."

"The ones who haven't been as successful sort of stay back," she said. "They have a harder time transitioning to what our company's practices are."

Love of the job

Laura Jerabek, 72, said she enjoyed passing on her love of nursing and health care to students. She lit up when she talking about her 16 nursing students at Collin College, where she previously worked.

"My dad lived till 102," she said. "It's possible I could live another 15 years, and I want to contribute."

With the Senior Source's help, Jerabek may snag her dream teaching job.

The employment program's success rates reflect a tough economy. In 2009, the placement rate for individuals who attended one-on-one sessions, along with workshops, was 36 percent. In 2007 and 2008, the rate was 50 percent.

Joyce Moench is one of the program's success stories. The 69-year-old Garland resident got a receptionist job five years ago after Hancock Mazda of Mesquite called the Senior Center.

Now, though, the Mazda dealership has gone out of business and Moench is back in the workshops, hoping for another stroke of luck.


Buy a computer and cellphone, if you don’t have them already. Employers will expect you to be accessible and tech-savvy. You can buy a decent laptop or desktop computer for less than $600. You can also brush up on your computer skills.

Dismiss negative thoughts about your age. Stay positive by focusing on your strengths and skills. Emphasize your abilities. and don’t refer to dates that may age you.

Look good so you feel good. Staying fit and well-dressed will make you stand out at an interview — and later on the job. Get a good night’s rest and wear your favorite outfit, so you go into an interview looking professional and acting confident.

Seek out age-friendly employers. Use, AARP’s Best Employers for Workers 50+, and Fortune magazine’s 100 Best Employers as research tools.

Network — online and in person. From using to talking to people at your church, networking can be the best way to find a job.


By MELISSA REPKO / The Dallas Morning News