The CT Groups provides support for those in a career transition ("job search") using over 50 uncompensated volunteers supporting the listed participating groups and their members within the Memphis area. We receive zero funding from government, charities, trusts, or businesses.
So how can someone become a member?
What do I need to know to get going in The CT Groups?
By policy, we do not accept requests for membership via any electronic medium. We found this policy has
benefited the organization and the requesting individual in the long run; no exceptions are made.
- ATTEND A GROUP MEETING
You need to attend one or more of the participating groups within The CT Groups network. The large part of the information you will benefit from comes directly from the meetings. These groups provide an opportunity to understand the career transition process, to network with others in transition, to exchange ideas, obtain feedback, discuss problems or needs.
- A list of the participating groups may be found in our Directory. Our Roster, provided in PDF format, may be found in our Documents section (or by clicking here for a download of the document). All links within the Roster are active to make finding our information via the Internet as easy as possible. We make provisions for other groups to post our Roster to help the members of their organization.
You can learn more about our participating groups under Group Information within the Information Hub. Visit our Calendar to graphically see our meeting times.
- If you find value at a group you attend and want to join, contact the Moderator about your intent while you are at the meeting. They will ask for your name, e-mail address, telephone contact number(s) and type of work being sought. Your information will be forwarded to the Administrator to grant you access to certain web sites and include you on the appropriate e-mail distribution lists. IT IS RECOMMENDED that you create an e-mail folder and save the initial 23 or so e-mails you will receive and review them. This is a one-time start-up distribution of information that will help you in your career search and as a member of The CT Groups. In addition to the group you join you will also be made a member of TheCTGroups-MEM, Memphis-CT, and Help-CT.
You must attend each group you want to join and request membership from each of those groups. Each group has an independent e-mail system from the others for privacy.
- As you join other groups you will be added to their web site and e-mail distribution. You may control the level of e-mail by selecting options. A document will be provided to you on this upon joining.
- We utilize a private e-mail distribution network to share information and opportunities.
- It is strongly encouraged that new members have a Yahoo ID (Yahoo!, Y! Mail, or Rocketmail account) to utilize the resources of our web sites. You can create your Yahoo! ID e-mail address and provide that to each group you elect to join. It is VERY EASY to create your Yahoo! ID to reroute e-mail to your preferred e-mail service as part of setting up your free Yahoo! ID e-mail account.
- Have a Professional e-Mail address that includes your name and use it for all your working years! What you use between friends may be totally unacceptable in the professional world, like "BigHotSassyMomma", "IWouldRatherBeFishing", "FatBottomWomen", and other highly personal e-mail addresses send the wrong message in many ways. Business is business.
- Avoid using employer or college e-mail addresses as these can be taken from you without notice. You employer or the college may examine e-mail or other items that go across their networks or computers. Your efforts to help an unidentified person may be perceived as your desire to leave the company.
- Avoid using a fee based e-mail address as these costs may have to be cut as an unwanted cost during career transition in favor of lower cost alternatives. Examples: University e-mail addresses offered via the Alumni Organization in return for contributions, Professional Societies as part of your annual dues, your Internet Service Provider as part of your monthly charges, etc.
- Avoid using an e-mail address provided by a small service provider as they could terminate their operations, be acquired and mandate you to change your e-mail address and/or to a new domain, or other changes that can negatively impact you.
- You professional e-mail address needs to be used until you enter retirement (or even later). Too often people abandon their Professional e-Mail address upon landing. Contacts and resumes still contain the now abandoned e-mail address. Some have later discovered their dream job was offered to them shortly after landing or a better offer within a few years. We today have abandoned e-mail accounts which have been hijacked and spread malware to people on their contact list including friends, supporters, and potential employers. Do not shut down your conduit to potential offers and to your professional network.
- Information About Our Participating Groups
Under Group Information in the Information Hub you can obtain information on each individual group within The CT Groups network. Visit our Calendar to graphically see our meeting times. Visit our Directory to find links to the participating groups. Prior to attending a meeting, always check our Schedule Changes or Seasonal Changes to see if a last minute or holiday has resulted in a meeting cancellation. No one wants to make a trip only to find locked doors.
We have an Acceptable Use & Membership Agreement Policy to foster an environment focused on our successful return to employment. This document grants authority to the Administrator to resolve any or all matters as appropriate. You will receive a copy of this document upon joining. If you do not accept this document you must unsubscribe from the organization within fifteen (15) calendar days being made a member of your first group.
- INVITE OTHERS
If you know of people who can use these resources, we ask you invite them to join.
We do not allow sharing of our information or materials with non-members. We find this causes a false sense of support by not knowing the current trends and process of a career transition. We want people to be successful. Do you friend a favor... bring them to a meeting.
New members and veteran members benefit from Orientation. We take a high level view:
- the emotions you are going through and why this is important
- why things happen and why what worked once is not today
- judging when to start your career transition and why not sooner
- what The CT Groups can offer you during this journey and afterwards
- things you need to understand to be successful in this journey
- knowing why the end of your search is a new beginning and a restart
3. FOCUS OF THE CT GROUPS
Networking is attributed to filling 70-80% of all jobs. Currently it is believed to be up to 90%.
- Participating at the Group Meetings
You learn, you get ideas, you get information, you get help. And it's all free.
- Mutual Aid and Sharing
This includes the sharing of ideas, strategies, tactics, approaches, and job postings
Only one person will be offered the position. If it is not going to be you, let it be someone you told about the opportunity so you will have an internal champion to help you the next time around.
- Active use of LinkedIn
Help hiring managers see the value you can bring and get to know you from your Profile.
Make yourself visible to recruiters as they actively look for qualified candidates. If you are not on LinkedIn, get started with their free webinars on Wednesdays. If you are on LinkedIn, make sure your Profile looks sharp, crisp, and is loaded with key words from which make you "findable".
- Work it hard!
A full time job search at a minimum of 40 hours per week of ACTIVE EFFORT. Unemployment is the hardest job you will ever have. Meet everyone you can. Talk to those you need to reach. Learn to say the right things and not what flies out of your month. Competition is fierce. Be prepared to win!
- We encourage remaining within The CT Groups network after landing to offer mutual aid to those remaining in search and to maintain their network as part of a strategic career planning resource. Unless you leave we assume you are continuing your membership. It is up to the departing member to unsubscribe. Many people form new friendships during their membership in The CT Groups.
After all, it is free, you can "dial down" the e-mail levels, you can stay in touch, you still have full membership rights, and it's an "instant on network" when you want to need it next. But be sure to maintain those important relationships for people who helped you before!
5. ABOVE ALL ELSE DO NO HARM
Avoid False Starts.
Some will work to rebound quickly after a difficult employment loss yet few are really ready to do it. Some will set an unrealistic goal for employment for more money which frequently leads to a failure as the goal was emotional and unrealistic. Others will rush to distribute half-hearted resumes and potentially obtain some interviews only to exhibit lingering negative emotions. These emotions can be seen as signs of "damaged goods" by recruiters and hiring managers.
Time is not your friend.
Have a sense of urgency and focus in your job search. Some will believe they can survive a separation for a long period. This can hurt your chances for employment and be a false assumption once you examine the actual costs of unemployment. Take a financial inventory of your resources and examine your current monthly costs versus your new income (spouse's income, Unemployment, and other sources.) Most people are shocked at the projected cash required from savings or investments even at a reduced spending level that will be required. Seek professional help in making a financial assessment to avoid potential fatal mistakes.
Avoid self-inflicted wounds.
It will take some time to get through what is called the Shock and Anger phase of a job loss. The exit from these phases is critical to move forward. Do not float a resume as 95% - 99% of resumes in the Memphis area are described as unqualified or just "junk" by recruiters. Work the plan we recommend to craft not only a good resume but establish a solid game plan including your Business Plan and Bio that are very effective in networking. And don't rush out to network until you learn what it is and how to do it. Most people do not understand the process or the approach.
Know where you're going.
We see people who indicate they are "open to anything" or simply leave their career objective blank when joining The CT Groups. First, this is a dangerous trap. If you don't know where you are going any road will look like a path for you. Second, if you don't know where you are going, how can anyone possible help you? If you are undecided on your next career or field you want to work in, there are some excellent tools that can help guide you based on your preferences and interests. Some are available from the University of Memphis for Tennessee Residents at a nominal fee. We have some resources for detailed assessments including consultation at very competitive rates for those in transition. Changing jobs or relocating in the current economy is a risk that requires careful assessment. Many employers are seeking those who can step into the job and be fully productive frequently in under a week. The idea of an employer training people for a new career is unheard of today. If you believe such a career change is necessary please discuss this with people you trust for their counsel.
6. COME, DE-STRESS, GET ENGAGED AND ACHIEVE
Begin attending attending the meetings. While you may not hear what exactly you need at that point in time, you will learn and discover items you can use later. You will be with others who are going through their first time or possibly their fourth time or more. We do not get wrapped in former job titles. We do not get wrapped up in formalities or political games. We are here to help each other get back into the workforce in a good position to resume or start a career in an effective manner.
If you find value in attending this meeting, you are encouraged to ask the Moderator while at the meeting for Membership.
- You will be asked for your name, e-mail address, telephone contact number(s) and the type of work you are seeking. This information will be used for our internal use and to provide you membership into our online resources including e-mail distribution. Members are encouraged to continue their membership after landing due to the frequent cycle of separations in the labor markets and as part of a smart career planning tool.
- A process exists allowing you to Unsubscribe at any time or to control the e-mail levels when you land your next career, both of which are implemented, managed, and supported by Yahoo! Groups. It is your responsibility to unsubscribe should you decide to leave the organization. We have former members returning to the organization after realizing the value received and after a rush decision.
- Having a Yahoo! ID (a Yahoo!, Y! Mail, or Rocketmail e-mail account) is beneficial to have PRIOR to joining any group as you will then be able to leverage the resourced stored at the web site created for each of the groups you join. Visit Your Yahoo! ID
- Members agree to the terms of the Acceptable Use & Membership Agreement Policy that governs all members of The CT Groups to provide a positive environment promoting getting people back to work. A copy is e-mailed to every new member upon entry into The CT Groups network.