Tag Archives: job and career education center

On Being the New Kid on the Job

Your resume escaped the Delete key on the HR recruiter’s keyboard, and after the second (or maybe even the third) round of interviews and reference checks, you get the long-awaited call:

You’ve been offered the job!

Now, even more hard work awaits … and I’m not talking about what you were actually hired to do.

I’m talking about things like figuring out the culture of your new organization, fitting in with your coworkers, and learning your boss’s communication style. Starting a new job can be incredibly exciting, but all of these aspects can sometimes make this transition downright nerve-wracking.

It has been six weeks since I started working at CLP-Main, hence the reason why these thoughts are on my mind. Everyone has been incredibly friendly and helpful, making this the fantastic opportunity I knew it would be, and my inner five-year old self is in a perpetual state of awe that I get to come to the Library every day.

(A side note: here at the Library, we have some great resources on how to find a job. Do you know about CLP’s Job and Career Education Center (JCEC)? It’s open every day of the week and our staff provides personalized resume assistance, mock interviews, computer classes and Internet access and so much more. Check out the Jobs and Careers section of the CLP website to see all that the JCEC can do for you.)

I’ve been doing some reading on successful career transitions and starting a new job, so I thought I would share some of my favorites with you.

Getting Things Done by David Allen

Whenever I start a new job, I try to reread or listen to Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress Free  Productivity, by David Allen.  Since getting my first “real-grown-up” (i.e., post college graduation) job more than 20 years ago, I’ve tried what seems like every time management trick and system imaginable. David Allen’s approach somehow makes the most sense for me. I love all of David’s  books (I’ve read him enough times that we’re practically on a first name basis) and anything else that he has to say.

The First 90 Days

The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter  is an updated and expanded version of Michael D. Watkins’ popular series of books that give step-by-step plans for navigating workplace transitions. It seems especially helpful for young professionals or people in the early stages of their career,  or workers who may be switching to a new role within their organization or a completely new (to them) field.


The McDonald’s near my college campus was like a five-star restaurant. Every single customer was greeted by the most cheerful and friendliest guy I have ever encountered.  He held the door open, asked you about your day, stopped by your booth to see how your Big Mac was, and engaged you in some witty repartee.

People loved this guy. It’s been 22 years since I last laid eyes on the guy and while I can’t remember his name, I think of him every single time I walk into a McDonald’s.  Any McDonald’s. I’ve connected him with that experience so strongly that he has come to be part of what I associate with the McDonald’s brand, even two decades and two kids later.

Seth Godin would know the name of this guy.


In Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? Seth Godin writes about the qualities and characteristics of linchpins – those people (like my McDonald’s guy) in every organization who are the go-to people, who seem essential, who don’t know the meaning of the phrase “not my job.” Godin’s view is that as managers, we have the ability (and some might say the responsibility) to develop linchpins among our employees.  But more importantly, as employees we have the ability to develop linchpin characteristics within ourselves.

With every new job, with every new opportunity that life brings us, there’s always room for self-improvement – and the Library offers countless resources to help put you on the path toward professional and personal success.

As for my own job here at the Library?

I’m lovin’ it.

— Melissa F.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

What’s New in JCEC

A lot has been happening in the Job, Career and Education Center lately.

We’ve scheduled spring dates for our Skills for Success speaker series, starting with Job Hunting after 50 in April.  (We’ve tried to address topics of interest to our customers, so if there’s something you’d like to learn more about, please let us know!)

Due to their overwhelming popularity in 2011, we’re offering more Resume and Cover Letter Assistance appointments.  They’ll now be held on Tuesday afternoons, in addition to Wednesday evenings.  Registration is required and openings book up quickly, so call soon.

Job Club, our discussion group that provides job hunting support and networking opportunities, returns on February 29th.  There is often a theme or activity for each meeting, but feel free to bring any job hunting questions or concerns you may have.

We’ve also started giving Mock Interviews, on Mondays from 11-12.  There is no registration; just walk in and speak to a staff member.

And in addition to our monthly JobWire email newsletter we’re now sending Job Watch updates, in which we pass along the latest openings and job fairs that cross our desk.  To subscribe, email jcec@carnegielibrary.org with Job Watch / JobWire in the subject line.

Since JCEC and the PC Center have joined forces, our services have started to overlap.  You can now see all of both departments’ events in one handy calendar.  There is always a link to the most current calendar on this page, and we send a link in the JobWire newsletter when the new one is ready.

As always, if you have any questions or would like to register for one of our programs, please stop by, call (412) 622 – 3133, or send us an email.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Skills for Success: Fine Tune Your Résumé

Conventional wisdom says that the holiday season is slow for job hunters.  If you find that to be true, you can use the down-time to your advantage by upgrading your résumé skills.

This Saturday at 12 PM, the JCEC will be hosting the final Skills for Success Speaker Series workshop of the year –

Résumés have undergone changes in the past few years. Toss out the outdated and bring in the new. Show the value you will bring to an employer through a short profile of skills and achievements, by using numbers to indicate how you deliver results, and by demonstrating how your job skills match employers’ needs. Learn quick tips to create or update a resume that will appeal to employers and demonstrate the benefits of hiring you. Current trends in paper and online résumés will be discussed.

Presented by: Carol Silvis
Event fee: Free

International Poetry Room – 2nd Floor
4400 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Wes Roberts

Registration is required for this event.
You can register by calling 412-622-3133 or by filling in the form on this page and clicking on the Register button.

The Skills for Success Speaker Series began this fall, and took place at CLP – Main JCEC and several of the South Hills branches. We’ll be offering another round of programming in these locations next year.  To be notified when new events are scheduled, sign up for Jobwire (the library’s job and career email newsletter) by clicking the link on this page.

A very limited number of one-on-one résumé and cover letter assistance appointments with a qualified volunteer are also available in the JCEC, starting in January.  To see if you can schedule an appointment or get on the waiting list, call the JCEC at (412) 622-3133.

Whether or not you’re able to attend any of our events, you may also be interested in the library’s online Résumé Maker tool (which I reviewed last winter), or one of our many résumé advice books:

Happy holidays, and may 2012 be everything you wish for.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Testing and Education Reference Center

If you’re taking a standardized test, whether it’s the SAT or the Firefighter exam, you can get free test prep materials from the library. 

To access a free, online version of any Peterson’s book, go to http://www.carnegielibrary.org/research/jobsedu/databases.html and scroll down to “Testing & Education Reference Center.”  Then, if you’re at home, click “Remote Access” and enter your library card number.  (While TERC looks like any other normal website, the library pays to have access to it, so you have to go through these steps to prove you’re a member.)

You’ll have to create an account, which TERC primarily uses to send you the scores to any practice tests you may take.  This should be a quick and painless process.  

On the front page, you’ll see groups of standardized tests.  (They also offer related tools, such as college and financial aid information, career research, and even resume assistance.)   If your test isn’t on the front page, they probably still cover it.  Use the search box in the upper right to find out. 

Of course, you can also come into the library for print materials.  If your local library doesn’t stock a particular title, you can request one to be sent to you.  Or, as always, you can come visit the Job and Career Education Center in Oakland.


Leave a comment on today’s post for a chance at today’s prize in the 29 Gifts giveaway.  Daily winners will be contacted by e-mail.


Filed under Uncategorized

Resume Maker

The JCEC has many fine databases, but my current favorite is Resume Maker.

If your resume is already digitized, you can import it into Resume Maker and start editing.  Or, you can start a new file and enter your personal information by hand.  There are sample resumes and cover letters that you can browse for inspiration.  There’s also a helpful “Examples and Advice” button, which appears at key decision-making points.

Everything is customizable.  Want a heading for “Campus Involvement?”  Click “Add sections,” and find it in the list.  Don’t want an “objective?”  Delete that section.  List things chronologically, or try your hand at a functional resume.  Then you can style it further by choosing a layout from a drop-down menu, or tinkering with the settings yourself.   Your resume is truly a living document, always ready to be changed, printed, or emailed.

Resume Maker also has a section for general job hunting and career advice.  Their tab for interview preparation is impressive, and includes videos, sample questions, and even salary advice.

To try Resume Maker, visit the list of JCEC databases, and scroll down.  If you’re not in a library, click “remote access.”  You’ll need to enter a valid library card number.  Feel free to call or visit if you have questions about Resume Maker, or any of our services.



Filed under Uncategorized

Twelve Titillating Titles

I believe that a healthy sense of humor is the best way to cope with most of life’s frustrations — yes, even the serious business of a job search.  And judging by these titles, I’m not the only one.

  1. The Idler Book of Crap Jobs: 100 Tales of Workplace Hell
  2. Was Your Boss Raised By Wolves?  Surviving the Organizational Food Chain
  3. Don’t Take The Last Donut: New Rules of Business Etiquette
  4. Never Wrestle With A Pig: And Ninety Other Ideas to Build Your Business And Career
  5. Can I Lie On My Resume?  Strategies that Win the Career Game
  6. The Dictionary of Corporate Bull****
  7. Can I Wear My Nose Ring To The Interview?  The Crash Course to Finding, Landing, and Keeping Your First Real Job
  8. It’s All Your Fault!  (How To Make It As A Hollywood Assistant)
  9. Landing On The Right Side of Your Ass: A Survival Guide For The Recently Unemployed
  10. 99 Surefire Ways to Stay Unemployed
  11. Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English
  12. The Slam-and-Scream: And Other Powerful Strategies And Great Career Moves for Secretaries, Assistants, and Anyone Else Who Has Had Enough

May all your holidays be merry, readers.  See you in  2011.



Filed under Uncategorized