August 4, 2021


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Call for Presentations: Virtual Career Fest

As part of my Ampere Club project, I’m putting together a virtual “Career Fest” event. The event is about helping people amplify their career outside of “hard” tech skills. The intent is to pre-record sessions (via Zoom or whatever you like), and optionally show up for a short, live Q&A at a scheduled time. Sessions can be 30-60m in length, and I’m looking for some of the following themes:

  • Career skills:
    • Contributing to a sense of belonging in your workplace
    • Becoming a Daily Learner to keep your learning muscles strong
    • How to approach job interviews
    • How to be more effective in a multi-generational work environment
    • Why to add certain leadership skills, even if you’re not trying to get into management
    • How to think about your career, and how to think about steering it
  • Soft skills:
    • Crushing your next meeting – both live and remote (speaking skills, organization, etc)
    • Writing better emails and instant messages
    • Communicating with non-tech people
    • Leveraging emotional intelligence and mindfulness
    • Time management
  • Career Marketplace:
    • Most in-demand tech skills and skills that are starting to shrink
    • How to analyze the market to detect career/skill trends
    • Hot non-tech skill adjacencies (project management, business analysis, etc) and how to start conquering them
  • Business acumen:
    • How to better align tech recommendations to business outcomes and present recommendations as mini business plans
    • How to think more like a businessperson
    • OpEx, CapEx, market metrics (like gross margin), and how they drive a lot of business decisions
  • Career Case Study:
    • This is what I did with my career, and this is how it worked out.
      Honestly, sharing these types of experiences—good and bad—are invaluable for others. Yes, it requires a bit of vulnerability, but that’s one reason it’s so valuable.

Also, that’s not an all-inclusive list—consider that to be a set of “themes,” and I’m very open to other topics within those themes that you think might be helpful.

There will be an admission fee to the event, in order to cover platform costs. It’ll be as moderate as possible—think $50 for a dozen or so sessions, plus the live presenter Q&A and such. I’m erring on the side of losing money, but if the event makes a profit, the intent is to funnel that to a charity. So, presenting would not come with a speaking fee. However, you’d be encouraged to highlight your other, money-making life activities as a part of your presentation. Note that paid Ampere Club members will get free admission!

The hope is to get ~100 people attending this first one, although that may be pretty aspirational. It’s also possible it’ll be a dozen, which is why I’m planning to be okay losing a little bit of money on it <grin>. The long-term goal is to start building a place where technology professionals can come work on their careers on any ongoing basis, so I’m regarding this first event as an investment in that direction.

DEADLINES: I’d like to put together a session list by end of July, and have recordings in by August, with a tentative “launch date” in mid-September (which is when we’d schedule the live Q&A bits as well). So jump in before 10-July with your proposed session, please!

If you’re interested, please let me know what you’d like to present on! Just use the “Hit Me Up” (HMU) link right here on the website to contact me.

Now, for the elephant in the room: I don’t have anything I could contribute! I don’t feel my own career is excellent enough to be able to offer advice to others!

Bullshit. If you’ve made it to the point where you have a job in tech, you’ve done something right. Maybe it was struggling through an interview—share that. Maybe you’ve figured out a time management technique that works for you—share it. Maybe you recently learned something about the way the business you work for is run—share that. Don’t try to come up with something “impressive,” just come up with something that you did. This is just about sharing experiences, not about being an expert or something. And, presenting at something like this will be good for your own career. It’ll help you hone those public speaking skills, and those are the ones that let you be more effective in meetings and other day-to-day interactions with your colleagues. So let’s hear from you!

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Author Of this post: Don Jones
Title Of post: Call for Presentations: Virtual Career Fest
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