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A Site Introduction

What are The CT Groups?

We are a career transition support organization providing support at no charge to the individual through an all volunteer team of professionals offering their time, skills and experiences. Leveraging offered facilities and volunteers, this service has been provided since the first independent groups began in 1988.  On February 3, 2003 The CT Groups launched as federation of independent groups in a networked organization leveraging no-charge web based services and e-mail distribution tools for our members and expanding our ability to communicate within, between and across all groups. The letters CT are for Career Transition.

We do not require any contracts or agreements from the members but we do encourage members to actively participate in our program to reduce the duration of their unemployment and potentially obtain employment in a better position.

This web site is our primary source of online information for the public and members.
  
Our rules and Code of Conduct are designed to keep members focused on their career transition, prevent misuse of the organization, and responsibilities of members to themselves and others.
 
Information on membership is available at Become a Member group.


Web Site Tabs
Updates for members of new or changed information, as is possible, regarding activities or information available from The CT Groups. 
Reports or recognitions involving The CT Groups including interviews conducted with leaders of The CT Groups appearing in the print, online or broadcast media or other publications.
New additions to the Web site or other changes within The CT Groups of potential member interest. This does not include information regarding meeting changes which is provided under Schedule Changes.
Our Good Friends
As an all volunteer organization operating on a zero dollar budget, we depend heavily on help from others. Fortunately many great people have and will continue to come forward to help others in what are highly emotional, painful and stressful periods during their life ... career transition. The average job today lasts 3.7 years.

Here, we honor those who came, for the many contributions often helping thousands they gave during their stay with The CT Groups. This is how America becomes stronger; people simply helping people.
Announcement of planned meeting or event schedule changes.

Most often this reflects closings due to holidays or special situations.
 
NOT ALL CHANGES CAN OR WILL BE COMMUNICATED HERE.
Threatening weather, facilities use impacts, illness or emergencies, etc. cannot be communicated to all members uniformly or effectively within short periods of time.


We strongly encourage members NOT to travel if they feel conditions are unsafe or they feel uncomfortable in traveling. Topics can be rescheduled and threatening conditions may have resulted in cancellation. 
Meets on the 2nd Saturday of each month when scheduled. This allows a greater depth in coverage (discussion, training and/or direct support) for members in key or critical areas of Career Transition that members seem to or indicate having problems with. Meetings are officially scheduled for 3 hours but will generally run as long as is needed or is possible for those who attend. Information on the coming topic is posted as a subordinate link along with the listing of prior events topics.
The Legal Stuff
        Need more be said?

Asking for Help
Everyone has a time in their life when a little help can make a big difference. This section is for members needing such help during their career transition for their lawful and appropriate need, in how to reach out to other members in an effective manner to solicit that help. Whether it is how to network, finding contacts, seeking guidance or insight, or simply someone who can fix a 1983 car at a reasonable price and do a good job.

How can you join one (or multiple) of the groups, what should you expect, how can you leverage the most from your membership(s), getting your sign-on credentials (currently an e-mail address from Yahoo!, Ymail! or Rocketmail) and the steps to become a member. It is really not hard!
Expectations
As a member, what are the expectations you should have?
Career Transition is not a passive, someone else will do my work for me job. Learn how to get the most out of The CT Groups to help your career transition.
A Yahoo! ID is required by Yahoo! for our e-mail distribution system.  However so far the requirement has not been enforced. Here we help you get a Yahoo! ID setup.
We outline the process of becoming a member and what you can expect to see and what you will need to do to make this a reality.

Presents a "calendar formatted view" of groups regularly scheduled for the current week with the ability to move forward or backward in one week increments. A block represents a group for the week-day and time period they meet along with basic information. Clicking the block provides additional information. A link is provided to the full information for each group within TheCTGroups.org web site.

NOTE:  Information is provided based on the normally scheduled meetings.
            The normal schedule can be disrupted by any number of factors
            including illness, loss or unavailability of the facility, weather, fire, or
            other events which were not or could not be communicated in
            advance. When in doubt, call or e-mail the contact listed.

            If conditions are unsafe or risky, do not attend a meeting and place
            yourself at needless risk.
 There will be other meetings on other days,
            you are unique and important to others ... be smart, be safe.


Want to reach out to a Moderator of a specific group?
Here is the list that shows the groups and the e-mail address you can use.


Listing of groups, organized by day and time of their meeting, which provides links to their web page in TheCTGroups.org plus the site hosting our third party e-mail distribution service for the group. This page is linked to by other organizations to benefit their members needing assistance in finding employment.

This section is a collection of items frequently visited by members. One of the key documents is our Roster which lists all the participating groups in The CT Groups. The Roster contains active hyperlinks to provide additional information from within The CT Groups web site.
Documents identified by members to help others during challenging times.

FAQs   [Frequently Asked Questions]
This is a collection of the more Frequent Asked Questions we receive along with responses. Hopefully these can answer most of your questions. If not, e-mail us at Questions@TheCTGroups.org  Please understand as an all volunteer organization we do not have "operators standing by" so it may take a few days to get back to you.

The ability to receive free or low cost education is rising. Here are some potential options that may be available and appropriate for you to capitalize on.
Multiple universities and other organizations that are offering quality material. Many are very well respected colleges and universities from around the world.
Hard to Believe but True:
Every 2 days we generate globally 5 Terabytes of data, which is the amount of data generated from the Dawn of Time to 2003. One byte of data, if it were a grain of rice, would fill two ocean freighters.

This section provides some history on the computer and the first televised use of the computer (and the false fears it created and record setting accuracy in predicting a national election within 1% of the actual vote in 1951 and contrary to the professional pollsters predictions).

Entertaining educational videos designed for the "average" person are highlighted on technology along with other items of relevance to help you gain knowledge and improve your understanding. Complex technical concepts and processes are laid out using drawing and simple language to help you understand the hot technologies that are changing our lives.  Can your explain "the Cloud" or "Big Data" to your friends or understand why it is important to you?

The posting of Government Jobs, whether city, county, state or federal, can sometimes seem like a broken bureaucratic process. This section is, over time, an attempt to help you navigate a broken bureaucratic process to find employment.

Details pending.
Articles & Video
        Articles
               A collection of articles support those going through Career
               Transition phases to help their journey.


        
Videos
               These are divided into three logical categories:
                 -  Job Search Videos

                          
A video from Martin Yate on searching for employment. It
                          is a good somewhat informal video with good insight for
                          those starting a job search or needing a review. Others will
                          be added as they are discovered and validated.


                 -  Leadership Videos
                          
List of good quality videos discussing Leadership at a level
                          most people can benefit from.
 Even if you are not
                          interested in a manager or leadership role, viewing these can
                          help you become a stronger employee to companies.


                 -  Self Help Videos
                          Tips on how YOU can make a difference in being a stronger
                          person including the image you project to others.


                 -  TED Videos
                          A global group providing insight into various topics. We
                          list items found of relevance to those in a Career Transition.


                          -  TED Index
                              Titles found in the TED Tab ordered alphabetically with
                              play time and link to launch the video.


Government Info 
  1. How to apply for City of Memphis Jobs.
    It's government so there is a very detailed process you must follow.


  2. Information available is free from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics that can provide information on employment by locality, jobs in high demand, jobs in low demand and other employment statistics they track.
Each group has a 4 or 5 character code followed by the letters "-CT" for Career Transition. This appears in the Subject line automatically of all e-mail distributed through The CT Groups to identify the routing of the e-mail.  
Information on each group is listed by tab to provide the reader information on the organization, when and where they meet, where to park, contact information including an on-line map to help.
Other groups exist to help people who are in a career transition but they vary widely in the support offered, requirements placed upon their membership, dues and fees may may charge, location and times of meetings if any, events (required and optional), and who runs the groups (some are non-profit, some are local people coming together, some are commercial operations). We eventually hope to provide information we have discovered over the years on-line here. We, however, can make no representation on the quality, current existence, accuracy of information or other facts due to the vast number of locations and highly limited resources of our organization to conduct national searches.
Being unemployed/underemployed and having your Windows PC going slowly is never a good or cheap problem. The pain in time, effort and money to take it into the "IT Nerd Shack" is never pleasant.  But before you go that route, check this section for some listed problems and solutions you can perform on your own. Some are simple tasks using Microsoft software already on your Windows PC which can produce astonishing improvements. Others may be more involved but will help you assess the decision to repair or replace. The choice is still yours but at least you have an option now.
Because The Bad Guys can exploit many situations, many situations are discussed. Some can be prevented by providing the correct key, knowing some basic insights into processes or how to verify the legitimacy of a person or the action they are taking. It could protect your home and family from unfriendly "guests" during social events.

They have unlimited time and networks to share ideas. The are high school drop-outs to highly educated professionals. They are kids having fun to country sponsored terrorists with ample funding and incentives.
Here are some of the ways people trick others into doing something they may well regret. Examples of actual messages used and commentary on how to "call out" the warning signs so frequently left in their messages. DO NOT let yourself fall victim by falling into their poorly built traps!

Domains
A list of all Internet domain names and the country of registration. A registered domain name does not provide any assurance of safety as the equipment and those running the equipment may be from or in different countries. Registrations are performed on-line and it is presumed that all parties file honest and factual registrations. A brief discussion is offered on this topic.

Everyone needs something at some point in their life. While we can't provide all to everyone, we can identify resources who can potentially help.
Details pending.
GENERAL assistance from Memphis 2-1-1 and Network Advertising Initiative

CLOTHING where quality at low costs or free clothing is possible (for those in true need)

FOOD where food is critical to the survival of the family (some limitations may apply)

FURNITURE

MEDICAL DISCOUNT CARD for residents of Shelby County, TN

RESIDENTIAL PHONE SERVICE

WORKFORCE INVESTMENT ACT to help get people some training using grants and assistance in preparing for the workplace (government program)
Over the years a number of books have been recommended by members that helped them with their career transitionA list has been posted under this link. In the interest of saving money you may check with your local library about availability in the library or via Interlibrary Loan.
Yes, LinkedIn is high tech, it's Internet, it's Big Data, it's Data Analytics, it's massive amounts of high availability high performance storage arrays, it's global and all this stuff scares people for no reason. On the other side it is easy to learn, easy to use, you do not have to pay anything to use it, it is fast and it is highly effective as a tool you can use to find a job, find contacts, get company information, and be found by recruiters.
This is a simple matter:  Do you always want to be the "hungry hunter" chasing after possible opportunities or do you want to become the "prized catch" with recruiters chasing after you with their opportunities?
Organized by industry/professions you will find quotes from influential people in high places held in high respect talking about things you need to think about. Locals like Fred Smith and Danny Thomas are included along with military leaders, former heads of state, inventors, artists, writers, great thinkers, sports, corporate heads and others. All of them focus on success and all provide insight on reaching it in your career transition and in life. If these can't motivate you, talk to someone as these are powerful.
Pushing Through ...
There are time when it looks like there is no way out of a bad situation.
It can happen to anyone but there are solutions if you are willing to PUSH THROUGH your challenges ... and are just challenges. This will be a series of stories of people who found themselves in a situation that looked very dark yet fought their way to achieving goals and dreams. We cannot overcome all setbacks but we can stay determined to find our personal success.
Professional Associations or Societies exist for nearly any professional career or industry. These are incredible groups to join and attend for networking and professional development, and they are generally tax deductible. The ability to directly reach senior people and managers in your field to network with in a relaxed social setting is highly beneficial.
If you don't have the money for dues/fees ask about consideration for those unemployed or recent graduates; sometimes the cost is zero. If it is still too expensive, explore a grant or even working events to cover the cost so you can meet in the room with other members and network like crazy!
Each state holds millions of dollars in money owed to citizen and they do not have to tell you and if you don't claim it within a time period, they get the money.
Use this link to start looking for money due to you that you may know nothing about. In Tennessee it is fast and easy using their web site to find then claim any funds. In about two week, if all goes well, you have a check. So it may be worth your time!
In 2012 Volunteerism became so hot LinkedIn created a Volunteerism section on their Profile. Companies recognize the value as a corporate citizen to support their communities by supporting volunteerism including some with paid time off. It is also an opportunity to network with more people and potentially with some of the Memphis "Movers and Shakers" to can change your life if the right opportunity exists. But this is not the one day a decade activity. You want to be seen and known to be a real volunteer and something the charity will step up and help.

The Repository

A collection of documents provided by The CT Groups to help members obtain a faster start in their career transition. This includes the Acceptable Use & Membership Agreement Policy that all members are bound to which helps to insure members remain focused on their career transition and not become distracted by bashing companies, managers, politicians or others as a diversion to their most important task ... getting back to work!

Unemployment

An evolving section dealing with ways to improve your self and the
image we all present in meeting new people, such as Contacts, Recruiters and Hiring Managers.

Yahoo! Help

The CT Groups uses Yahoo! Groups for e-mail distribution services. Over the years some members have faced challenges with this service and The CT Groups have been pro-active in providing information, and when possible support, for these problems. Below are some of the most frequent areas members have faced challenges with along with information that may help with these area. Yahoo! Groups Custom Service can help should these not work for you.

Be aware Yahoo! does not communicate planned changes or offer insight into the impacts of their changes. We respond to changes as we learn of them, can assess the impact, and seek a means to mitigate or work around the changes to meet member needs.
Discussion on the options you have in how e-mail is delivered to you and how you can select from the options (excluding No Mail) and make the change as often and anytime you want via the Internet. No Mail accounts, when identified, will be changed to Special Notice as the difference between the two is minimal yet The CT Groups can still reach you for matters of importance.
A Yahoo! link for support from Yahoo!
A more dramatic but alternate way to end e-mails if you are unable or unwilling to engage Yahoo! for help.
Unsubscribe
Information on how to leave The CT Groups if that is your desire.
There are arguments due to the nature of the economy and changing skill needs that such act may not be in your long term best interests but it is your option and right.
Yahoo! ID
After many years, new members must create a Yahoo! ID (YMail! and RocketMail accounts are no longer acceptable). Yahoo! accounts created earlier are acceptable.

The CT Groups has a step-by-step illustrated document on how you can associate your Yahoo! ID to your personal e-mail account so that all e-mail from the groups you join will use your personal e-mail account. Yes, a little more work but simplicity for your effort.
 

 More to come as additional information and resource time permits.