Tag Archives: jobs

Maker Professional Training Program

This Wednesday, November 5th at 6:00 pm, Jamie Sauer from the Maker Professional Training Program will be at CLP-West End to talk about the training program. The Maker Professional Training Program, through funding from a Department of Labor Federal grant, offers a free 90-day job training program for unemployed and under-employed people in the Pittsburgh area. The MakerPro teaches individuals next-generation digital making and machinist skills which they can use to find manufacturing jobs or create their own start-up companies. The classes are taught at a makerspace called TechShop, in the Bakery Square section of East Liberty, Pittsburgh. There the participants can get hands-on experience using laser cutters, CNC machines, water-jet cutters, milling machines, CNC routers, welders, 3D printers, and more.

I recently got to talk to Jamie about the program. It is helping to fill the skill-gap that local manufacturing employers are experiencing and it’s helping people develop new skills and find gainful employment in full-time careers in manufacturing. The program is bridging the gap between “making” and manufacturing: it’s teaching people how to turn their affinity for making into a fulfilling career.

The Maker Professional training program has a monthly enrollment so they are constantly reaching out to find and help people gain employable skills as quickly as possible. There are over 100 people in the program and they are adding and placing more participants on a monthly basis. This is the first program of its kind through the department of Labor and it is quickly gaining steam since its launch in May of this year.

They have a website that is open to the public as well as the MakerPro participants – www.maderighthere.me. On the site, people can create their profile, describe their skills and competencies and display their portfolio of finished and current, on-going projects.

If you are interested in learning more about the Maker Professional Program and the types of skills you can learn in their classes join us on Wednesday night at the West End location for a talk, cookies and coffee! The next round of classes begins December 1st!



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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.

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Out to Lunch by J. Seward Johnson

Out to Lunch by J. Seward Johnson

The crowning fortune of a man is to be born to some pursuit which finds him employment and happiness, whether it be to make baskets, or broadswords, or canals, or statues, or songs.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

First thing you should know about me: I have my dream job. Yesterday was my one year anniversary as the manager of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh- South Side.  I often walk into work and think, “Wow, I get to work here.” I’m surprised I have any sort of career, let alone one that brings me so much personal and professional satisfaction. (See next paragraph.)

Second thing you should know about me: I hate school. I hated grade school, middle school and high school. I hated college so much that it took me eight years to graduate. When I was done it felt like I had completed a prison sentence. I vowed I would never go back. I wouldn’t even go to Oakland.

In 2004 I was hired as a library clerk at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh- East Liberty. I loved it. Wait a second! I get to talk to people all day about books and I don’t have to work in a cubicle? Sign me up! I had to grit my teeth, suck it up and go back to school. Gross. But it was worth it. I am doing what I was meant to do.

(Every advisor I ever had dropped the ball on this one, including the jerk who suggested secretarial school.)

Find your perfect career at the library!

There are so many job and career resources at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. One of my personal favorites is a database called Career Cruising. I love the Assessment Tools. Take the Matchmaker test and discover what you should be doing! My first recommended job was cement mason. Roofer and chimney sweep also made the list. I think because I said I like working with my hands and being outside? Or because I love swearing? (I really do.)



There are a lot of other neat tools at Career Cruising, including financial aid and employment searching, resume building and school comparison profiles. And don’t forget, you can always, always, always ask a librarian for help!

I’m not really a Who Moved My Cheese?/7 Habits of Highly Effective People/How to Win Friends and Influence People kind of reader. I’m less Oprah, more this. However, there are a few books that I have found worthwhile, especially when talking about having a calling in life.


The Butterfly Hunter, Chris Ballard

Stories of people who found their callings way, way, way off the beaten path. Learn how glass eyes are made, learn the history of window-washing and meet a dude named Spiderman Mulholland.

Getting Unstuck, Timothy Butler

Feeling stuck in a rut, personally or professionally? Find yourself thinking that there definitely should be more of…whatever? Business psychologist Timothy Butler will help you recognize your rut and unstick yourself from your paralysis.

A Life at Work, Thomas Moore

A little touchy-feely, but if you are like me and define yourself by your job then you’ll enjoy this book.

Do you have a dream job? Or a very, very worst job?



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Let’s Go to Work

Starting today, and running through the end of October, the Library is hosting a pretty cool series called WORKshops: Developing Your Career.

We’ll have representatives on hand from UPMC, Giant Eagle, and College Nannies + Tutors to offer up tips and tricks for navigating their application and hiring processes. (Keep in mind that these are not recruitment events, just an opportunity to get really good information!)

The sessions will be held at the following locations: Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Main (Job & Career Education Center), CLP — Downtown and BusinessCLP — Hill DistrictCLP — HomewoodCLP — Pop-upCLP — Squirrel Hill, and CLP — Woods Run.

And whether you need to start from scratch or just make some updates, check out a few of these resume books…



– Jess

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Job and Career Education Center

Did you know the library has an entire department devoted to job hunting, career development, higher education, and test preparation?  No matter where you are in your working life, the Job and Career Education Center (JCEC) has something to help you.

Whether you’re wondering what you should be when you grow up, or researching what it would take to switch to a new career, we can help you narrow things down.  A good way to start is to take some career aptitude tests, like the Pennsylvania Department of Labor’s Career Guide.  (I took this quiz a few years ago, and it told me the career I was most suited to was… librarian!  Of course, your results may vary, and are only to be used as a starting point.)

Once you know some specific careers you might be interested in, you can research them in the Occupational Outlook Handbook.  Here, you will see what training and education you might need to become qualified, what the actual work is like on a daily basis, and what you can expect in terms of job openings and salary. 

Or, if you don’t like any of the suggested careers, we have books like “Careers for Night Owls and Other Insomiacs” that explore a range of careers that might be appropriate to your interests and abilities.

At some point in your job hunt, you may have to take a standardized test.  Whether you’re studying for the SATs or the firefighter’s exam, we’ll have something to help you.  And if we don’t have a physical copy of the book on our shelves, we may have access to a full-text version online through the Testing and Education Reference Center

If you need more education before you’re ready for your dream job, the JCEC can show you how to research schools, prepare your application, and look for financial aid.  (If you’re looking for a trade school or apprenticeship, we can help with that too!)

When it’s finally time to apply for that dream job, come brush up on writing resumes and cover letters, interviewing, and other aspects of the job hunt.  Then search for job postings through the “Finding a Job” section of the JCEC’s website

This is only the beginning of what the JCEC has to offer.  Whether you have a specific problem or question, or you’re not even sure what your next step is, stop by the JCEC and chat with a librarian.


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from boxing to gardening: career transitions.

When speaking of his particular vocation, Muhammad Ali said, “It’s just a job.  Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand.  I beat people up.”  You might not float like a butterfly and sting like a bee during your work day, but whatever your job is, you have one and I have one.  And, it’s just a job.  However, since most of us have to be somewhere for eight hours a day, we all do the best we can to make the most of it until we come to the end of our workday. 

Maybe you absolutely love your job!  But maybe there is room for improvement.  Perhaps a little less complaining would make your time at the office more enjoyable or perhaps laying a little more blame instead?  A lot of us have experienced the cubicle, the least hospitable environment on Earth, but we have many books to feng shui your workspace and to awaken your day to increase your job satisfaction.Take comfort in knowing that there are those with worse jobs than yours.  And that there are always other jobs in the sea.  Take advantage of the 48 hours of your weekend to find the work you love and then get out of your funk.  Learn to get along with not-so-easy-to-get-along-with-coworkers or implement a rather provocative workplace rule.  Visit the Job Career Education Center upstairs on the 3rd floor where the career-savvy staff can find materials that will help you determine your next occupation-centric steps.  All of these resources will help you to love, change, laugh at, and slow down your daily grind.

With spring on the way, another idea is offered by Orson Scott Card who says, “Unemployment is capitalism’s way of getting you to plant a garden.”  It certainly isn’t necessary to quit your job to dig in the dirt, but why not take a day off and grab some seeds and a shovel?



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