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Featured Job Posting: Director of Customer Service @ Brother

Brother is looking for a Director of Customer Service.  You may not be aware, but they have a location in Bartlett.

This person is accountable for leading the customer service function for process improvement, training data/knowledge management, financial management and talent development.   The Director of Customer Service is responsible for multiple customer service operation centers located in the United States, Dominican Republic and the Philippines. This position will also lead the end-user customer service function for Brother in the United States.

To learn more, or to apply online, visit the Brother website here.




Networking Opportunity: Open House for Amy Hutcheson and Kat Gore

On December 8th, there will be an open house for Amy Hutcheson and Kat Gore to show their artwork.  The event will be downtown at the 363 Gallery.  The 363 Gallery is located at 363 South Main Street.

The event is from 2-4 PM.  It’s a holiday open house at the gallery, so you can come and go anytime between 2 and 4.

If you miss it, the art will be on display until December 23rd, but I’d recommend you go to the open house when you can network.

To learn more about the gallery, visit the Allen Projects website here.


Networking Opportunity: The Preview by Connect Memphis

On Wednesday, December 11, 2013, Connect Memphis will host The Preview, an evening social at the Fedex Institute of Technology at the University of Memphis in room 225 from 6-9 PM.

The event will serve as an introduction to what Connect Memphis does for the city and a sneak peek into what attendees would see at their January benefit: The Professional Connection.

They will be doing The Memphis Puzzle at 7pm, which will give insight into some great facts about our city. Representatives from local mentoring programs will also be on-hand to discuss mentoring in Memphis, as their benefit in January will raise funds for Memphis Grizzlies TEAM UP and Optimum Learning.

The event is FREE, but a suggested donation of $5 is encouraged. Learn more about the pieces that makes Memphis an amazing place to live!

To learn more, visit the Connect Memphis website here.

Networking Opportunity: Book of Lists Bash

Although I typically try to share free networking events, this is one worth considering.  The Memphis Business Journal is hosting their Book of Lists Bash.  Tickets are $100, and dress is cocktail attire.

The event is on Thursday, January 30th from 7-9:30 PM at Opera Memphis.  The night will feature live music by Party Planet, a blue-carpet champagne entrance, refreshing cocktails and delicious food prepared by local favorites Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous, Itta Bena | B.B. King’s Blues Club & Southward Fare & Libations.

Have fun and get down with Memphis’ most influential people!

To learn more, or to purchase tickets, visit the MBJ website here.


Informational Interviewing: what it is and why you need to do it

About 90% of the candidates I work with have not heard of informational interviewing. Of those who have heard of it, I’ve almost never come across anyone who’s tried it. Here’s what it is, and why it’s important in your job search.

Informational interviewing is defined as “a meeting in which a job seeker asks for career and industry advice rather than employment.” It’s an opportunity to sit down with someone who currently works in the field, or (even better) the company that you’re interested to work for in the future. It gives you the chance to learn more about the career path that you’re interested in. Its awesomeness as a networking opportunity should not be understated either.

Setting up an informational interview isn’t hard. If you know the person you’d like to talk to, simply give them a call or e-mail them with your request. If you don’t know them yet, ask a friend to introduce you or reach out via e-mail or LinkedIn. Explain that you’re trying to learn more about their industry, and they seem like a great person to learn from. Make it clear that you will only take up a predetermined amount of time. 30 minutes is fairly standard. Offer to take them for coffee or meet via phone at a time that is convenient to them.

The key in getting a meeting is to cater to the other person’s schedule. Realize that their time is valuable, and you’re getting something you need: information and face time. This is not the time to be rigid in your scheduling. If they only have availability that conflicts with something you had planned, consider reorganizing your own schedule.

When you do land the meeting, be prepared. Come with a list of ten questions that you can pull from as needed. Ask the person about their typical day, about challenges in the industry, and how they broke into the industry.

Do not ask the person if they will hire you. Do not ask how much they make. And certainly, do not ask them to find a job for you. None of these are the purpose of your meeting. You’re trying to learn more about the person, and their job. People don’t mind sharing about their own job. But, when you start to ask about a job for you, you’re really crossing the line and asking for a favor the person didn’t sign up for. On the flip side, if they voluntarily tell you about a position they’re hiring for, go for it!

I’d like to share a success story with you to demonstrate the power of informational interviewing. I recently set a job seeker, Brittany, up for an informational interview. She is interested in marketing, so I set her up for an informational interview with a friend who works at an advertising agency in Memphis.

What happened next blows me away. Not surprisingly, their meeting was successful. Then, my friend introduced Brittany to the entire advertising agency and gave her a tour of the office. Last, my friend promised to introduce Brittany to her contacts at 8 other organizations. That’s right, 8!

Can you imagine how your network might grow if you begin to reach out to professionals in your community this way? They will offer you advice that will be valuable in your search. They also may begin to introduce you to their network, or help you look for a job.

The level of success of an informational interview will be determined both by you, the other person, and honestly, how well you ‘click’ with them. Know that every informational interview will not turn out as great as Brittany’s, but you will gain something valuable from each one.