I was happy with AgreeADate’s interface for calendar management, and now I’m even happier with TimeBridge. I like how TimeBridge automates the addition of tentative slots to my calendar (so that I can see what it might impact) and the cancellation of slots that conflict with confirmed appointments. That makes my calendar management process much simpler. =) Let’s see if it can handle the other use case of letting lots of people sign up for slots…
Hooray for experimentation!
From last week:
Also: I came home to a wonderful scavenger hunt! I’m such a lucky gal… =)
My priorities for this week are:
I’m also planning to attend a few events during the week, and to meet up with a number of people. Busy busy busy! And I still need to write up my notes from DrupalCon…
From 3 PM to 5 PM on March 14 (Saturday), I’ll be giving a talk at the Toronto College of Technology to a group of approximately 80 newcomers to Canada and people re-entering the IT field. With that in mind, I proposed the following talk:
If you’re new to Canada, new to the workplace, or getting back into IT, you may find it difficult to find work unless you can show people why they should hire you over everyone else. How can you distinguish yourself? How can you reach out and connect with people? How can you find–or even create–opportunities that are just right for you? In this session, you’ll learn how you can develop your passion, improve your skills, and grow your network. Packed with tips for getting started and stories from real life, this talk can help you turbocharge your job search. Come prepared to introduce yourself to others, ask questions, and figure out how you can make a difference!
When I plan a talk, I sometimes think of it as a box. The size of the box is dictated by how much time I have to deliver it. When I know what size that box is, I can plan what goes into the box. I want to put lots of value into the box, so that people get lots of value out of it. On one hand, I’m limited by how much time I have, what resources I have, and how much I know about the audience. On the other hand, I can create lots of value with that box by sharing it with many people, or by repackaging the components into larger or smaller boxes.
In this case, my box is two hours big. It’s better to break those two hours up into two boxes than to treat it as one big box, because if I treated it as one big box, there would be lots of wasted space where people wouldn’t be able to focus well. If I plan it as two boxes, filling each with interesting things and giving people a short break in between boxes, people will get more value from the boxes.
The two natural boxes in this session are:
As much as I would like to be able to share a magic formula for figuring out what to do with life, we can’t fit that into a one-hour box. It’s the work of a lifetime, really. But what tools or ideas can I put into this box to make it easier for people to take the next step? Here are some that might work:
Think about your experiences outside the country or outside technology, and how people might find those experiences useful. Practice talking about your accomplishments until you’re comfortable. People from many cultures aren’t comfortable with this because they think it’s bragging, but you can think of it as helping the other person learn how you can help them. If you really don’t feel comfortable talking about any of your past accomplishments, get some new ones. Open source is a great way to start, and many employers see that as a great way to prove your skill. Developers can contribute to code, designers can make themes, and so on.
POSSIBLE ACTIVITIES: a) Describe your favorite job or your ideal job to your partner, while he or she writes down clues about what you might be good at. b) Brainstorm things that you’re good at and that are different about you. Then brainstorm some more. Swap lists.
POSSIBLE ACTIVITY: Help each other brainstorm ways to apply those talents and skills.
POSSIBLE ACTIVITY: Identify the top 1-3 things you’d like to get better at. Help each other brainstorm how to improve.
Oooh, I like 20-minute boxes.
Many people find it difficult to network, especially if they’re new to a field and they don’t know anyone. I find it hard sometimes, too. =) Here’s what might help you too:
ACTIVITY: Talk to a couple of people around you and brainstorm ways you can help them.
ACTIVITY: Checklist? Suggestions? Practice your 30-second specific introduction (best, test).
ACTIVITY: Identify 5 – 10 people you might ask for help with the top three things you’ve outlined in the previous section, and figure out how you can approach them. Set a goal date for reaching out.
WRAP UP: Fill out evaluation forms, follow up on blog post / slides, e-mail me, start a blog ;)…
Hmm, that’s starting to look like an interesting session I’d love to attend myself… =)
- Refine the points and examples in each box, then hunt down illustrations
- Plan worksheets