How to Start an Employment Network in Your Section
This short step-by-step guide has been prepared by IEEE-USA staff to provide a basic outline for those members considering starting an Employment Network.
Step 1: Local Support
Contact the local Section or PACE Chair and discuss your intent to form an Employment Network. If you don’t know who your Section Chair go to the IEEE Region Website and locate your region then your section based on geographic location. There will be contact information for each section. Make arrangements to attend a Section Executive Committee (EXCOM) meeting. At the EXCOM meeting, request to be appointed Temporary Chair of an Employment Network for that local IEEE Section with authority to determine whether there is an interest in the community.
Step 2: Contacting Section Members
The IEEE Section may be willing to share email lists with you so that you can contact local section members who are unemployed and invite them to the first Employment Network meeting. Most Sections also have either online newsletters or print newsletters. Ask if you can run an announcement in their newsletters.
Step 3: Planning Your First Meeting
Find meeting space. Ask the local Section if they can recommend a meeting space that they normally use for their meetings. It could be a library or local members’ office space. You can even meet at a local restaurant but that can be harder to talk unless you get a private room. Also review the Employment Network Module (.doc). This document will provide more details and insight about creating and developing a successful Employment Network.
Step 4: Set Agenda
- Welcome & Introductions (Names only there will be time for more later)
- Discuss Purpose starting the Employment Network and gauge level of interest
- Discuss needs and expectations
- Seek Volunteers to serve as Vice Chairperson or second in-command
- Set next meeting (A good tactic is to schedule all the subsequent meetings at the same location and at some easily remembered time like the second Monday of every month at 7:00 PM. Announce the next meeting in the Section newsletter and ask attendees to spread the word about the meeting to other unemployed IEEE members.)
Before everyone leaves make sure to pass around a sign up sheet with name, address, phone number, email address so that you can contact these people again.
Step 5: Hold Regular Meetings
Once a regular meeting date, time and location are established invite the following types of speakers:
- HR Executives from local companies
- CEO or heads of local companies
- Representative from local government to discuss employment services they provide
- Consultants to discuss the option of consulting
- Head hunters
Getting speakers could be a challenge at first. Ask local section members about contacts they have with HR professionals or other employment professionals to see if they can speak to the new network.
Step 6: Network Lifecycle
An Employment Network basic function is to help its members find employment. As members gain employment the Network may shrink in participation. Embrace this success because the networks ultimate job is to put itself out of existence.
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