Newtown Career Networking Group

Our Next Meeting is May 1 @ 7:00 pm
(networking starting at 6:45 pm)
Location: Newtown Presbyterian Church; 25 N. Chancellor St. - Reception Hall
Workshop Topic:  "The Dreaded Elevator Speech - How do you do it and is it good?"
Facilitators: Andrew Gelfand & Mitch Federman

Our Job Board And Local Events Calendar Are Updated Regularly

Check Out Our Web Site:
  • "Calendar" - Click on the specific date of interest for that evening's agenda
  • "In The News...." - Tells you what's going on in the current job market
  • "Available Positions" - Offers new job listings
  • "Library" - Provides access to articles, presentations, and hundreds of job search resources
  • "Happening Elsewhere..."- Presents networking activities, events, and job fairs in our area
Visit Us On LinkedIn: The Newtown (PA) Career Networking Group.

We Do Networking Here:  Bring Your Networking Cards to Our Meetings.
Please Bring a Canned Good or Non-perishable Food Item for the Food Pantry.

Important  Announcement

Please join me in welcoming Andrew Gelfand as the new Director of the Newtown Career Networking Group.  Andrew is a superior networker, and one of the co-founders of Whine & Dine, a leading networking group serving the Human Resources community.  He is currently engaged as an HR  professional for a local non-profit organization.  With this background he enjoys a broad base of contacts, as well as access to a wide host of recruiters.

Andrew will be supported by Mitchell Goldberg who was the founder and  director of another local job-seeker support group.  Mitchell brings thirty years of practical Marketing, Sales, and business management knowledge and experience to the group, and will be a tremendous resource.

It has been my distinct pleasure to meet and assist so many fine people in their search to find not only their next job, but to ensure that that job would also be the RIGHT position for them.  So it is with mixed feelings that I pass the baton of leadership to Andrew and Mitchell.  Happy about the prospect of opening up the next chapter of my life in Wilmington, NC, and knowing that I leave the group in good hands - with strong skills and a shared passion for helping others.  I'm sure they will bring  with them fresh ideas  that will only strengthen the value of the service we provide, but at the same time I am saddened that I will miss the warmth and friendships that we've developed with one another over the past eight years.  Please feel free to keep in touch. You can reach me at or 215-200-9035

Best wishes to all!


About Us
The Newtown Career Networking Group, was established in January, 2010 by and for talented people who were displaced by the recession.  We're a secular group, sponsored by the Newtown Presbyterian Church, serving the entire community including Lower Bucks County and the surrounding area

Job-seekers today face a far more competitive environment, complicated by the impact of increasingly complex and sophisticated technology, than ever before, But since our inception we've helped guide over 230 business and technical professionals and others from across the employment spectrum into satisfying new positions.

Our process is not proprietary.  It consists of helping you understand and express your value to a new employer, focusing on the jobs and companies that interest you and match your skills, personal interests, and cultural fit, then using the power of networking to give you access to the hiring managers within those companies

Working with other job-seeker support groups, career coaches, state and local agencies, and others we  provide you access to many resources to assist you in your job search.

So come and join us!  We meet at the Newtown Presbyterian Church on the first and third Tuesdays of every month, form 7;00 to 8:30pm.  There is no charge for our services. We just ask that you bring a canned good or non-perishable food item for the church's food pantry.

Contact information:
Newtown Career Networking Group
Newtown Presbyterian Church
25 No.Chancellor St.  Newtown, PA 18940
Andrew Gelfand, Director
Tel: 215-459-8904


        California Bans Salary Question

California became the latest state to make it illegal for employers to ask prospective employees for their salary history. Under a newly signed law to take effect Jan. 1, if employers do ask about prior salary, they must (if asked) provide a pay range for the job in question, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The tactic of asking for salary history is deemed to reinforce pay inequity among women and other groups by allowing employers to keep their offers in line with already-low salaries.


    Flip the Switch For Career Success
By Ford R. Myers
President, Career Potential, LLC

Several years ago, I was working with a client who was brilliant, talented, accomplished and highly educated. (Let’s call her “Ashley”). She was the sort of person who should have had plenty of opportunities coming her way. Yet, Ashley was really struggling in her job search. During the course of our career coaching sessions, it became clear that she was having challenges in her personal life as well. “What’s going on here?,” I asked myself.

By consistently listening intently to Ashley’s words, I gained insight into the ways she thought. These thoughts, naturally, determined how Ashley felt and behaved – as well as how she reacted to people and circumstances, and how she made choices. Once I “tuned into” Ashley’s thinking patterns, I saw clearly what was holding her back. It was her “self-talk.”

We all do it. We go about our lives, doing what we do and living with an endless “tape” running in our heads. It’s a habit that is so ingrained that we don’t even notice this “noise” most of the time. But the “tapes” are in there, and they rule our lives – for better or worse!

In Ashley’s case, her “self-talk” was actually quite negative and self-defeating. It was limiting her options and keeping her “stuck.” I realized that unless we could address this issue, I would not be able to help Ashley move her career forward. She was not being held back by a bad resume or a challenging job market. Indeed, it was Ashley’s “internal script” of negative self-talk that was blocking her progress.

I had a serious conversation with Ashley, during which I shared my thoughts about this. After a moment of reflection, she said, “Well, I guess I’ll just have to ‘Flip my Script’ in order to create the sort of career and life I really want!” I smiled, nodded my head, and said, “Exactly!” I added that when a person is at a crossroad in his or her career, it is important to expose one’s fears or concerns, write them down, acknowledge them, and then ”Flip the Script.”

Of course, the “Flip the Script” technique has its limits. It is most effective when dealing with challenges that are practical, logistical or intellectual in nature. When there is a deeper psychological matter or a mental health concern, it would be better to pursue other kinds of strategies and treatments.

Ashley asked me how she should “Flip the Script.” So I asked her to take out a piece of paper and draw a vertical line down the center. I continued, “On the left-hand side, transcribe as many of your internal ‘tapes’ as you can. Write-down the actual words that run through your head all day about work, family, personal life, finances – everything!” Ashley began doing this, and after about ten minutes I told her to pause. “Now, on the right-hand side of the page, write-down the exact opposite of everything you see on the left-hand side.” Ashley did this for about ten more minutes, and I must say that she found this part of the exercise challenging! Our coaching session was over at that point, so I instructed Ashley to continue working on the assignment until our next meeting.

When Ashley returned to my office the following week, she had a big, beaming smile on her face. She pulled-out a paper-clipped stack of papers and handed it to me. What I saw “blew me away!” Ashley had worked very hard on this exercise throughout the week, and she had typed-up almost ten pages of “Flip the Script” material. She had made the left side of each page black and the right side blue. I went through the entire document with Ashley, and we made some important refinements to her “blue” text. When we were finished, I looked directly at her and said, “This is the script for your new life. If you internalize it and incorporate it deeply, you will create a different and better life – both professionally and personally. But it won’t be easy. Are you up to it?” Without missing a beat, Ashley exclaimed, “Absolutely!”

At this point, it would be helpful to show you what it actually looks like, to “Flip the Script.” Below are random examples of the “old script” (in bold) contrasted with the “new script.” They were gathered from many different clients, and of course their names have been deleted to protect their identities:

I fear that I don’t have the personality and skills to survive long-term in the work world.

I am taking proactive steps to identify my weaknesses and equip myself with the tools I need to succeed long-term. I can learn anything if I want to and have to. I’ve been in difficult places before and I have always emerged stronger on the other side.

I am afraid that I will never have the self-confidence to take a job that will stretch and challenge me.

I have the confidence to step-up to new challenges. I’ve done it before and I can do it again. By building on my successes and taking small steps outside of my comfort zone, I am growing in confidence.

I am afraid of failure and experiencing shame in front of co-workers.
I welcome failure – especially as I learn from it – because all successful people fail many times before they truly succeed. It doesn’t matter what my co-workers think. I can only succeed when I put myself in a position where I might fail.

I am afraid that I will be unemployed and lose the respect of my family and co-workers.
Being unemployed is a fact of life that affects almost everybody at some point. I am positive and proactive in creating an action-plan to be prepared for those seasons in life. My family accepts me unconditionally for who I am, not for my job.

I don’t feel comfortable being assertive as the leader when dealing with an opinionated or strong-willed employee.
I was trusted enough to be given a position of authority for a reason. When dealing with a difficult employee, I am assertive. It’s not personal; it’s business. Other employees are not better than I am, and I don’t need to be intimidated by them.

I care too much about what others think of me.
I focus on the mission and responsibilities that the company has entrusted to me, rather than the perceived opinions of others.

I am fearful of change.
I love change! I grow, learn new things, experience new adventures and feel more alive as a person. Change is an opportunity for creativity and development in my career.

I can easily be taken advantage of.
I know when the situation calls for me shift my position and when I need to stand my ground. I am committed to my ideals. I surround myself with mentors and colleagues who will support my position when needed.

I can “live in my mind” and seem aloof.

I am observant, attentive and in-tune with my environment. I am responsive to others and interact with them in appropriate, productive ways. This, in turn, is good for my department and my company.

I am not good at “breaking the ice” or conducting “small talk.”
I am excellent at initiating conversations with others and engaging in productive dialogue. My ability to do this has a positive impact on my career and my company.

I am not comfortable exercising authority over others.
I earned this position and therefore I am uniquely qualified to do it. I am comfortable with being in charge and helping to make my team-members successful. Leadership is a privilege to bring out the best in others; using my authority is a means to that end.

I am not always clear on the “how” to get things done at work.
I surround myself with others whose skills complement mine. I am taking more steps at work to initiate and plan tasks, and soliciting feedback on how to think through the logistics.

Sometimes I over-commit myself and don’t finish all my work on time.
I am excellent at prioritizing my time, energy and resources. I have crystal clarity on what I say “yes” to and what I say “no” to. I am not afraid to say “no” or delegate tasks when necessary.

I am afraid that no matter what job I take, I might be disappointed.

The bigger disappointment is not shooting high enough at critical junctures. I can move-on from any disappointment and do better the next time.

I tend to aim too high, and my expectations can be unrealistic.
I can’t aim high enough because I can always push myself farther. I don’t want to feel like I’m “coasting.” If I don’t aim high, I’ll be underutilized and unfulfilled at work.

Down deep, I don’t really believe that I deserve success and fulfillment.

If I don’t deserve success and fulfillment, who does? I am a smart, hard worker and a great team player. I relish being part of something bigger than myself that will be highly gratifying.

I am concerned that I might not survive a misstep in my career.
I can survive a misstep and should not operate from a place of fear. It is normal and human to make mistakes; this is how I learn and grow.

If I secure a great work situation, I am afraid it won’t last.
I work for myself no matter what company I’m with and no matter what job I have. So, trying to make any job last “forever” is not how to look at the future. I will put a strong network together, nurture it, and always keep an eye out for the next opportunity that fits my goals.

I don’t always trust myself.
In the grand scheme of life, I make things happen for myself. Only I am qualified to promote my professional agenda. I will trust my impeccable instincts to navigate the changing business landscape.

I am overly ambitious, which sometimes causes problems in my career.
I am realistic about what I can and should achieve. I move my career steadily forward in a deliberate, strategic manner.

I tend to be impulsive and react too quickly.

I take my time to think things through and then respond calmly, intelligently and thoughtfully. This garners the respect and admiration of my co-workers.

You can probably guess the last part of this exercise. I told Ashley that to achieve her goals, she would need to memorize the entire right-side column of her document to keep the new items fresh in her mind and “on the tip of her tongue.” From that moment on, she would need to be vigilant about the way she thought and the words she spoke. Ashley understood that it would take discipline and determination to “catch herself” each time she fell back into old patterns and replace them with the options in her new “script.”

Ashley took-on the challenge and worked hard to be very conscious and deliberate about her thoughts and her words. Within only a few weeks, things started to improve in Ashley’s career. Her entire job search picked-up momentum, and her job interviews went much better. After receiving several job offers, Ashley ultimately landed an exciting opportunity in another city and relocated with her family. She has been in that role for a few years now, and she reports that “it’s going great!”

Ashley’s case may have been a bit more extreme or intense than some, but I believe that we could all use a bit of “Script Flipping.” I recommend that you pay closer attention to the “tapes” that are playing in your own head and update them to be more adaptive, healthy and productive. Like Ashley, this exercise could very well yield dramatic improvements for you – not just in your job search and career management, but potentially in every facet of your life!

Program Calendar
Upcoming Events
Employers hire ONLY because they have a problem needing to be solved, They're not interested in your background or what you want. They're only interested in hiring someone who can solve their problem. The fastest way to a new job is by telling them what you do, who you've done it for, and the results you've produced. Whether you're talking to that employer, a recruiter, someone in your network, they need to have a picture of what you bring to the party; and that value constitutes a premium in the marketplace.

Our December 19 meeting will be a workshop focusing peer reviewing and refining as many of the branding statements that we each developed based on the concepts presented at our last session. Please remember to send copies of your work to

In the weeks to come we'll discuss branding - how to tell people about yourself, your accomplishments and your value as an asset; how to start a conversation with a stranger, the objectives and art of networking; how to optimize your returns on LinkedIn and social media in general.   We'll look into cover letters  and resumes that get interviews, and how to  ace that interview.  Lastly, we'll take a look at negotiating and accepting  offers, and how to begin the onboarding process. 

  Wishing everyone an joyous holiday season and a happy, healthy New Year! 


How to Network Effectively While in Transition

By Alex Freund

Becoming unemployed is likely a sudden, unexpected event, and most people do not have the networking skills needed to immediately switch gears and begin efficiently developing job leads. There could be many reasons: feeling uncomfortable with the networking process, not knowing the process, being shy by nature, or never having needed to network in the past. Unfortunately, people in transition need to resort to networking, because it has been found that 60 to 80 percent of people are getting their next jobs via networking. 

The purpose of job-search networking is to cultivate relationships to lean on for getting advice, information, leads, and--it is hoped--referrals. The objective is to expand your sphere of personal connections. Certainly, whom you know is important, but in this instance, equally or possibly even more important is who knows you. After all, you’re the one looking for a next job. 

Networking is a learned skill. And it’s not necessary to be Mr. or Ms. Personality in order to be successful at it. Networking also involves consulting people who can list the search tools and strategies that have worked for them in past; people like telling their especially success stories. Involve people in building your own search tools. Try to unfold the hidden job market--the positions that have not yet been advertised or that won’t ever be. That’s the reason they’re called hidden. 

While networking, be considerate, genuine, and timely so that people will be willing to lend a hand. Smiling--smiling a lot--is very effective while networking. Genial body language coveys that you are friendly and are enjoying your relationship with the other person. Who wants to be associated with a Sorrowful Sue or a Negative Ned? It’s a big enough burden just to be in transition, and others usually don’t want to hear about someone else’s problems. You need to project a friendly and helpful image of yourself: Let the other person talk. Don’t monopolize the conversation. Exchange contact information and agree to follow up within a day or two. Keep the momentum going. By being a good networker, you increase your chances of getting a job severalfold.


Why Your LinkedIn Profile Is More Important Than Résumé

Yes, your LinkedIn profile is more important than your resume!  Do I shock you with this declaration? Think again. Your résumé is typically being sent to individuals, to recruiters, or as a job application, which has limited exposure. Yet your LinkedIn profile is open to literally the entire world around the clock. Moreover, as I understand it, LinkedIn is now considered the choice tool by recruiters and human resources professionals because it is so user-friendly and searchable.

If you think like I do, then you may want to revisit your LinkedIn profile and make a few easy improvements. For example, upload a professionally produced photo to enhance your image. Make sure the tagline contains a good description of what you do. The summary section should be your marketing piece. Your current and past positions should be clear. Don’t say too much; rather, make them intriguing. Include a few but strong accomplishments in your bulleted items. Keywords pertinent to your profession should be listed as well. Listing your specialties offers additional, specific information that enhances your chances to distinguish yourself.

LinkedIn lets you upload various applications. Take advantage of that. Recruiters like to see that you have several recommendations. After all, they have to sell you to their clients. Recommendations serve as strong support for your candidacy because they come from others. Everything else you say in your LinkedIn profile comes from you, and in this case you’re a salesperson selling a product, which is yourself. If you have a Web site or blog posts, list them. Belonging to several professional groups also enhances your image. Similarly, if you’ve received honors and awards, they should be listed. You also should include some interests because you’ll be selected not only for your qualifications but also for your fit factor.

And finally, review your personal settings. There may be great qualifications listed on your Linkedin profile, but if you limit those you allow to view the profile, who do you think is losing out?