Our members have a lot of great things to say about The Breakfast Club NJ
February 16, 2017 by Alex Freund
In 2004, at a time that I was in transition I frequented a number of job-search networking groups. One day at such a networking meeting I found myself sitting next to a guy who introduced himself as Frank Kovacs. We started talking and immediately found a common language. His last name is Hungarian and so is my mother tongue. But besides that I was very attracted to his genuine enthusiasm about helping people. Again the common denominator was this mutual interest. Via this conversation he introduced me to a group, which he initiated over breakfast right after 9/11. He named the group The Breakfast Club and asked if I might be interested joining. Then, it was a small group of perhaps a dozen plus people who met regularly on the 2nd Saturday of the month. I decided to give it a try. How bad can a breakfast with friends be? Right.
Well, since then I participated in almost all such following meetings. I helped the group by serving as a liaison with the hotel, I volunteered to be the Treasurer and for many years I helped with qualifying and arranging for speakers on relevant topics. This may sound like self-serving but once a year I put myself on the list as a speaker.
For the last ten years I have not been looking for a job but I am still very much looking forward to attending the Breakfast Club meetings. The speakers are educational and interesting. At least half of those attending every meeting are frequent attendees. Most of them I know personally and they know me. It is like family and we get together to help each other. Can you think of anything better to do every second Saturday of the month?
A Rite of “Paschage” … Plenty to Digest @Breakfast Club NJ
Published on February 16, 2017 by Andrew O’Hearn (Linkedin)
The Breakfast ClubNJ was a hotbed of discussion on Saturday, February 11. At least 73 people packed the room to SRO capacity – with list-tendrils extending to another 3,000 to 5,000 people via Yahoo! Groups and MeetUp, among other channels. Everyone got to introduce themselves, and almost all stayed beyond the allotted meeting-agenda time to make and reinforce connections.
One of the reasons why this particular Breakfast Club NJ session went so well was because of its guest speaker. Glenn Pasch, CEO-Partner of PCG Companies, Eatontown, NJ, and co-author of “The Power of Connected Marketing,” presented “A View From the Other Side of the Hiring Desk: How to Use Your Past Skills” to advocate, educate, and elevate your career brand and candidacy.
Glenn Pasch is a straightforward “Jersey guy.” An avowed lower of putting puzzles together, his stated goal is to build and market in such a way as to make people better.
Largely eschewing slides and even the dreaded “I-centric” elevator pitch so he could answer more attendee questions, Pasch kept his focus on the present moments that define reality.
“Your elevator pitch should prompt a ‘Tell me more …’ response,” said Pasch, adding that it’s also a good idea to have resumes with you for just such occasions. “Tell me what you know about my company. That way, it’s as if we are already working on solving problems together.”
“Does your brand stand out? Are you writing, blogging, speaking in public, attending conferences, volunteering? Do I get a sense of who you are from your online ‘stuff’? Who are you meeting with over coffee or for lunch? In the words of Anthony Bourdain: ‘Don’t tell me what you ate, tell me who you ate with,’” said Pasch.
Pasch adds that if you’re not constantly demonstrating how you grow business and visibility, you’re probably backsliding toward obscurity or irrelevancy. “What’s your vertical? What’s your niche? In what areas is your depth and breadth of knowledge almost unparalleled? If you don’t know the answers, or aren’t confident or savvy enough to advance them, someone else will end up supplying them,” he said.
Pasch also challenged the conventional wisdom of canned interview Q&A. “Ask questions that really matter. Speak in your own voice. Know why you’re there – and what they want from you, what they saw in you (what stood out; what excited them), what prompted them to contact you, their growth, what their struggles and pains are.”
“Remember, you’re also interviewing them – you want to know the nuts-and-bolts, day-to-day realities for which you’ll be held accountable … and how they would recommend you go about getting any experience you lack. After the company is gone, you’re with you the whole time!” Pasch said.
Pasch reiterated that he’s more interested in focusing forward. “I don’t really care what you did. I want to know what you’re ready, willing, and able to do … and how (process/approach) … and if you’ve fallen short, how you plan to get better … how self-aware you are (fit; transferable skills) … how willing you are to take a step back and reassess what you might be doing wrong.”
“The only way to get better is to constantly put yourself out there, take your hits, be open to all constructive feedback, and then iterate and flex to fit today’s ever-changing business needs,” he added.
It may be, Pasch noted, that you’re now perceived as too expensive, too much of a liability, going forward – after all, every business, these days, is “getting by” with “good enough for now” (satisfying) … so all the more reason to make (and market) yourself as adding value that’s otherwise hard to find … and keep.
“Get them to think more broadly than the last P&L statement … to the intangibles that factor into the bottom line. What’s their time worth as a manager – and is it reflected in the self-sufficiency, the consultative approach you’ll bring to the position?”
“If you’re presenting your skills the right way, it will be more pull than push: you’ll have a list of people waiting to speak with you, interact with you, collaborate with you. Make the case that, when everything is factored in, they can’t afford not to bring you on board,” Pasch said.
To have a conversation about real things that actually matter, Pasch suggests not getting caught up in everything that’s said, but rather, focusing on what people do, deconstructing or reverse-engineering those actions if at all possible.
“Just by asking the right questions – at a strategic as well as tactical level – you demonstrate an emotional as well as rational investment in the outcomes,” said Pasch. “You show a more nuanced understanding of context, of perspective, that gives me greater peace of mind about your potential interactions with my superiors, my stakeholders. You make clear how your presence, your needs, are aligned with those of the position and the organization,” he said.
As one who has sat in the position of the job-seeking audience, Pasch was not only credible … he has an actual vested interest, a stake, in helping folks who were like him find their “highest and best use.” He is a living example of the servant leadership POV he espouses. He certainly made a believer out of me.
So I’ll not only be rousing myself out of bed the next second Saturday of the month, sawbuck in hand … I’ll also be working with The Breakfast Club NJ behind the scenes to see if we can coax even more recalcitrant weekend networkers to experience real-life examples of networking success.
Glenn Pasch frequently speaks to other audiences, helping to make ideas accessible for organizations and people so they perform better. You can reach Glenn and connect with him via his LinkedIn profile.
Joe Konopka (Meetup) 2/12/2017
By Far, the BCNJ is certainly one of the best networking groups because of the relevancy of the topics as well as the networking opportunities.
JoAnne (Meetup) 2/12/2017
Another great meeting. Having this information before my last interview might have made all the difference!
We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting on the 2nd Saturday of the month!