Need Career Development Help? Look To WMACCA And ACC
We know that, for too many, the headlines about the economic downtown are a reality of corporate cutbacks and layoffs. Whether you are in-transition, or are not taking anything for granted, you should know about the services that WMACCA and ACC for career development.
The WMACCA Career Development Forum focuses on providing attorneys with information to assist them in effectively finding new positions and managing their careers. The Career Development Forum counts as its members both active and passive job seekers as well as those who are interested in general career topics. Non-members in WMACCA are welcome to participate in the Forum’s programs and networking events; the hope is that those non-members who secure in-house positions will recognize the value of membership and join at a later date.
The operating philosophy of the Forum is that networking with your peers is key to finding a new job and professional development. With that philosophy in mind, our members share leads they hear about and job-hunting strategies. The thinking is that the first one “back in the boat,” can help others back in. As we move into 2009, the Career Development Forum will be greatly increasing the programs and other services it provides to members to help those who may be in-transition. Your suggestions on enhancements to our services are welcome.
There are three main facets to the Career Development Forum:
- Yahoo! Community Group: This is an online community/bulletin board through which subscribers receive and can post emails about job opportunities, networking events, career seminars, and other career-related information. Membership in this group is by invitation only so you should not receive solicitations and other junk email. You will need to create a free Yahoo! account (if you don't already have one) to join the group and you can direct the emails to the email account of your choice. To subscribe, send an email by clicking here (or cut and paste: WMACCA_Career_Development_Forumemail@example.com) and please introduce yourself so you don’t appear to be an interloper trying to gain access to the group for solicitation purposes.
- Career Development Forum Programs: The Forum regularly presents programs on a variety of career topics. Past programs have included résumé writing, professional networking, time management, work-life balance, financial planning, creating a "personal commercial," negotiating a separation agreement, and more. There is also an annual “Success Stories” event at which members share their job search experiences and how they ultimately found new positions. These meetings are free brown-bag lunchtime events and are typically held at the offices of a member organization in Northern Virginia. These meetings are listed on the WMACCA chapter calendar.
The Forum will present its first program of 2009 on Wednesday, January 7, from noon to 1:30 pm (location to be announced shortly), on Writing the Right Résumé. Everyone needs an up to date résumé, whether you are looking for a new job, a promotion, or a board position. In this economy, you need to give 110% to achieve your goals, and a résumé that is anything less than stellar will not be sufficient. Mary W. Legg, of Firm Advice, Inc., will provide detailed information on how your résumé should look, what should and should not be in your résumé, and how to spot the typos that others will surely see. Please check the WMACCA calendar for further details.
- Monthly Informal In-Transition Meetings: On the second Friday of every month, the Career Development Forum holds an informal meeting for active job seekers at the Starbucks located at 8381 Leesburg Pike (Pike 7 Plaza in Tysons Corner) or by teleconference call. These informal meetings are a great opportunity to talk with others who are actively seeking a new position. These meetings are supportively focused and are not gripe sessions. While the attendees are job seekers, the reality is that people are rarely looking for competing positions so it's in everyone's interest to share tips, suggestions, contacts, etc.
Here are some job search tips that we have collected from previous programs:
Take advantage of your membership in WMACCA and the Association of Corporate Counsel:
- Keep your contact information up to date – you want to continue to get communications from WMACCA and ACC.
- If you are in-transition, you can continue your membership at no cost for one year (write firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Register and regularly check the In House Jobline at http://jobline.acc.com/search.cfm for new postings.
- Review the WMACCA directory updates that are included in our
weekly e-newsletter and contact members who have recently transitioned
into new positions for their job hunting tips.
- Network, network, network……
- Keep your resume up to date, let others critique it. Develop
numerous versions. If you are sending it in response to a particular
opening, make sure it aligns with what the position is seeking.
- Develop a catchy “elevator speech” (one to two minutes) that explains what you have done and what you are looking for.
- Structure your days. Designate times for job-hunting, and times
for other activities (to keep you fresh, since job hunting can be
- Don’t be shy – let all your friends, family and other contacts know you are searching and what you are searching for.
- Make a list of career websites that you want to check regularly.
- Be seen – attend CLEs, attend other bar association functions, attend social functions – you never know who you may meet.
- Pro Bono/Volunteer – people are needed to feed the hungry, clean
up schools, counsel people on mortgage problems – it will lift your
- Network, network, network……
How To Learn More About the Career Development Forum: Subscribers to the Yahoo! group automatically receive notices of all Career Development Forum meetings and certain other ACC events. To join the Career Development Forum Yahoo! group or if you have any questions about the Career Development Forum, please contact Ilene Reid at Ilene.Reid@WMACCA.com.