Build Your Career HERE – Learning New Skills
Mar02

Build Your Career HERE – Learning New Skills

Part of securing yourself in a job is having the skills to go all the way. Yes, you need to know the essential functions of a job before you sign on the dotted line, but if you really want to succeed, you should also know how to communicate, how to be a leader, and how to fail gracefully. Depending on your comfort zone and your age, there are a variety of different ways for you to go out and find a little leadership coaching. Age has been on my side, and I have been afforded the opportunity to be a part of the Emerging Leaders Alliance through the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. This group’s mission is to develop a community of future leaders in Northeast Indiana and create opportunities for action, growth, and regional pride. We do this through working on Vision 2030 committees, hosting social and professional development events, working on strengths training, connecting with our community leaders with professional development book clubs, and of course, supporting our entire region however we can. Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana (YLNI) similarly affords this to me. While it is meant for a larger audience and a broader age range, it has different focus areas and many leadership roles for those who are interested. The opportunities to be vice chair of Living Fort Wayne (part of YLNI) and secretary of the ELA were only because I stepped out of my comfort zone and went out and looked to make myself and my community better. Luckily, many people were there to hold my hand, figuratively. Not everyone is in their 30s and able to dance between the kids and the adults. Some of us have more to lose and need to get the skills and networking now. I went back to the same experts I talked to last week and asked them about where you need to go in order to go far.   What are the best networking groups in the area? I will tell you this now because three people said it, but First Fridays is the place to be. According to Karl LaPan of the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center(NIIC), Theresa Steele of Steele Business Coaching and Jim Johnson of 3 Rivers (also one of the founders), it is the best networking experience in town. According to Karl LaPan, “it is more than a networking group, it is also solid leadership development, so First Fridays is exceptional. This monthly meeting is a high return on investment. On one of my visits, I had five meetings and lunches as a result of attending and participating in the monthly event. The content and...

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Build Your Career HERE – Changing Paths
Feb20

Build Your Career HERE – Changing Paths

How many of you feel like leaving your current job will be a job in itself? Your resume may be solid if you are staying in your current field. The problem is that jobs are limited in many fields and require people to leave the region if they want to advance in your industry. If you want to stay close to your friends or family, sometimes you have to think outside of the employment box. Even if you are ready to do this, your resume can be more of a curse. You work your whole life to make that piece of paper seem exciting and important, but when you decide to take a chance and make a change, it hurts you more than it helps you because your employer only sees your employment history and not your valuable talents. We all get it. Finding a job can be hard. Even if unemployment is low, one line on a resume can make someone else look just a little bit better. So what exactly do you do if you are wanting to make that change? Well, it isn’t quite as difficult as it feels. I talked to some industry experts in business consulting, economic development, management, professional development and entrepreneurial development. Unsurprisingly, these people had some of the same advice.   So how exactly do you find a career that is out of your normal work scope? Even the experts have made big career changes and have found successes. Sonya Snellenberger-Holm, Project Manager for the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership told me, “I made a big shift in jobs when I started at the Regional Partnership. Before starting my job in economic development, I had only worked in the restaurant industry. While the two aren’t related I do think that being a bartender/server helped shape what I really wanted in a career. I knew I wanted a job where I could talk to people and build relationships with them. I also knew that I wanted a job that the result would make people feel happy. People like to go out to eat to socialize and have a good experience; people also like when their personal per capita income is raised, and they have more access to jobs. It takes very different steps to get to the result, but the outcome is the same. I like to make people happy. For anyone switching careers to something that is out of their norm, I would suggest going back to the basics. What makes you happy? Trust in the process and welcome the new change in your life, you never know what new stories you’ll...

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Grad School – How do you decide?
Nov08

Grad School – How do you decide?

Do I need a master’s degree? Is it worth the investment? What’s the point? I must have asked myself these questions a hundred times before deciding that graduate school was, indeed, my next move. Here was my rationale: I enjoy learning. Exploring the gaps of knowledge that encourage me to perform my job more effectively is important to my success. I want to advance my career. Maybe it’s pursuing a leadership role, or finding new ways to develop and apply my skills. Graduate school can help me find my direction. Personal growth is important to me. I want to grow as a professional, but I also want personal fulfillment; that’s something graduate school can facilitate. Finding the Right School & Program A notable difference from my undergrad was that this time around I knew exactly what I wanted out of a program. Some of those needs included: Face to face interaction. Well acquainted with my learning style, I recognized that an online program was not ideal for me. Flexibility to explore other disciplines. The opportunity to take classes outside of my program would enable me to gain diverse perspectives that I could apply to my education and professional career. Quality interaction with advisors and professors. The ability to discuss concerns and questions with faculty without chasing them down was vital. Flexibility. I wanted an outline of what I needed to do to complete the program without pressure to finish within a certain time-frame. Ultimately, the Professional Communication program at IPFW met my needs and was an affordable, convenient option. My personal conversations with friends and colleagues really sealed the deal. A college peer earned her MA in Writing from IPFW through the Master of English program and had wonderful things to say about her experience. Ashley Motia, a friend and mentor of mine, earned her MA in Professional Communication. I remember asking Ashley about her experience in the program when I was researching schools. These conversations, with people who were in my shoes not long before me, were helpful and reassuring as I explored my options. Student-faculty interaction was key in my search for the right school, so, I appreciated how willing and eager IPFW faculty were to meet with me and answer my questions. To quote the wise words of my friend and mentor Ashley, “Your graduate school career should start with and be sustained by quality conversations with faculty and advisors. Those personal interactions are what infuse value into your degree.” The significance of these interactions is obvious, even when I talk to other students. Ian Lese, a graduate student in the Master of Public Management program at IPFW shared...

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LFW Weekly Fun File
Apr13

LFW Weekly Fun File

Looking for fun things to do in Fort Wayne? Living Fort Wayne compiles a list of events and activities happening every week! This is by no means an exhaustive list, and if you don’t quite see what you’re looking for, check out our events calendar. If you’d like to see your event featured in the Weekly Fun File, or added to our events calendar, let us know! Email us at info@livingfortwayne.com or you can go ahead and submit your event to our calendar! Click on the event for more information about times, locations, cost, etc. 1. Rachel Von and Jeremy Stroup’s Art Opening Thursday, April 13 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Stop by for an evening of creativity and fun! 2. Entrepreneurs, Don’t Be Socially Awkward: A Social Media Talk Friday, April 14 at 12 p.m. In this talk, Anna Russett, Senior Social Strategist visiting from Havas Chicago and Fort Wayne native, will discuss why social should be at the core of your strategy with tips on how to build a strong social presence that highlights your brand’s services or products and speaks authentically to your target audience. 3. Hike The Trails of Fox Island Friday, April 14 at 1 p.m. Hike the trails of Fox Island with Naturalist Jeff Ormiston. It should be a beautiful spring day! 4. Slidin’ Into the Latest Trends: Where Social Media is Going Friday, April 14 at 5:30 p.m. Come hear Anna Russett, Senior Strategist with Havas Chicago and social influencer share emerging trends and innovations in social media. Learn where social media is going and how you can not only come along, but also lead the way. 5. Soirée Presents: Acoustic Showcase Saturday, April 15 ay 7:30 p.m. Hear some great music and BYOB. 6. Chalk it Up [workshop] Saturday, April 15 at 1 p.m. Learn how to chalk, write, and design a chalkboard at Saving Grace Vintage. 7. Deer Park’s Dyngus Day Party Monday, April 17 Celebrate with food, drinks, and music! 8. The Buzz about Bees Tuesday, April 18 at 9:30 a.m. A local beekeeper will teach your kiddos (age 3-5) about the importance of bees — stop by and you may learn a thing or two, too! 9. Meet Me At FWMoA Tuesday, April 18 at 2 p.m. “This monthly tour program is specially designed for individuals with an early-stage diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or other form of dementia. Tours are led by docents trained to effectively communicate with individuals with an early-stage diagnosis of dementia and are designed to be engaging for the individual and their care partners.” Check out the event page for more information. 10. Pippin National Tour: April 18, 2017 in Fort Wayne, IN Tuesday, April 18 at 7:30 p.m....

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The Secret Behind Launching a Career in Northeast Indiana
Oct04

The Secret Behind Launching a Career in Northeast Indiana

As an upcoming graduate and young professional looking for employment in Fort Wayne, I am amazed by the amount of pressure put on finding a career – not to mention finding one that I like. But these expectations come with no explanation on what sort of skills I need, advice on how to launch my career in this area successfully, or the kind of person that employers look for when hiring, except that they will look at my degree to see if I am qualified for the position. Corporations and all other types of businesses are comprised of all types of people. The people who make up Northeast Indiana, in a broad sense, are hard workers, innovative craftsman with a “don’t quit” mentality. The Northeast Indiana area has a regional population of more than 700,000 people with many diverse industry bases ranging from insurance, logistics, automotive, medical, food processing, and more. It is no wonder businesses in this area are looking to hire young professionals and graduates. With a dozen nearby colleges and universities, there are many young professionals and graduates looking to succeed in their careers in the Northeast Indiana region. But how are they to do that? To find out, I went looking for and spoke with seasoned professionals who gave me the secret on how to launch a career in Northeast Indiana. Justin Clupper, Director of Signature Programs at Greater Fort Wayne, said “The best thing to do is connect with the intent of communication; Begin networking, and building relationships in your specific industry and area.” This was followed by Ashley Calderon, Director of Career Services at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, who said, “89% of Indiana University-Purdue University students stay in this area. We know that employers are looking for candidates who have leadership skills because this is the number one skill employers are looking for at this time. Students need to be able to communicate effectively – in writing and verbally. This community is very well-connected, and students need to be able to navigate the connection in order to succeed in this area.” Ryan Krueckeberg, Vice President of the Board of Directors for Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana, said “I would suggest getting involved by utilizing the Leadership Institute by learning workplace leadership skills and community leadership skills. Meeting people, getting to know people, getting to know your community has been the biggest influencer in my career. Building relationships and fostering those relationships and allowing those relationships to lead you to other people. Making a valid effort to continuously educate yourself, whether it is by getting the degree or educating yourself in your community. There’s so many organizations who can...

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