Career Center Blog

January 30, 2011

Groundhog Day check-in: Job hope springs eternal


With the winter midway point of Groundhog Day nearly upon us, I think a certain Pennsylvania-based rodent might look favorably on its outlook for Seattle for the next six weeks and beyond -- not just for our warmer weather, but for our job situation as well.

Are the prognosticating powers of Punxsutawney Phil not enough to persuade you? Fine, I don't blame you. But how about Forbes magazine? In its latest survey of the "Easiest Cities to Find a Job," Seattle was listed as No. 5 on the list. According to the data Forbes used from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Seattle had, on average, 55 job postings per 1,000 population between October and December 2010.

The only cities that topped Seattle on the Forbes list were the Usual Suspects: San Jose, Calif (No. 1) and San Francisco (No. 4), for their high concentration of technology jobs, and Washington, D.C. (No. 2) and Baltimore, Md. (No. 3), for their wealth of government and defense contractor positions. To be a bit more reductive, if you group the same four cities into their natural geographic regions (Silicon Valley and the Baltimore/D.C. corridor), the Puget Sound area really stands alone in the No. 3 position.

Now, of course, these Top 10 lists are always suspect barometers of a city's true employment situation. There's no way the extrapolation of a few data points to an entire diverse population will suddenly make looking for work "easy" for the local residents (just try telling that to the thousands who have been looking for more than a year). Also, the Forbes article went on to say that the job listings included only the postings for jobs that paid an estimated salary of $50,000 or more. Once you include the postings for fast-food, barista and call-center positions, I'm sure Seattle's lofty position would be taken down a few notches.

But as a general indicator of future growth, the Forbes listing does offer some encouragement. If the $50,000-plus middle management jobs are on the rise, odds are that more hiring will come for the staff these people will need to manage. Regardless of whether the Forbes list is or is not a groundhog "shadow," here are a few great networking and job fair events to help job seekers kick off the better half of winter.

MON., JAN. 31

Diversity Career Fair -- University of Washington students and alumni can meet with more than 100 employers at this career fair sponsored by the National Society of Black Engineers and the UW Career Center. Where: Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion, Seattle. When: 6 to 9 p.m. Cost: Free

JAN. 31-FEB. 1

Medical Recruiting Fair -- Medical staffing company Dean's Professional Services will host this two-day opportunity for healthcare professionals to meeting with potential local employers. Where: Federal Way Business Center, Federal Way. When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Cost: Free, but RSVP is required.

TUE., FEB. 1

Seattle Career Fair -- Originally scheduled for Jan. 17, this Coast-to-Coast Career Fairs events has been moved to Feb. 1, and will feature representatives from several of the area's top employers. Where: Marriott Seattle Airport, Seattle. When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost: Free.

Seattle Book Summit -- Attention all budding authors! The PR for People business networking group is hosting this first-ever summit and networking event for those who are interested in book promotion strategies. A panel of authors and publishers will discuss tips on how to get noticed and the latest technological trends. Where: Swedish Cultural Center, Seattle. When: 4 to 7 p.m. Cost: Free, with light refreshments included.

WED., FEB. 2

Ditch the Dog and Pony Shows: Networking with Intention -- For those who need to brush up on their networking skills (who doesn't?), this Biznik workshop will provide practical advice on how to take control of your next social event and teach you the difference between networking and marketing. Where: Champions Real Estate Services, Edmonds. When: 11 a.m. to noon. Cost: Free.

Podcasting 101 Webinar -- Podcaster extraordinaire Michael Surkan, manager of the Linked:Seattle social networking group, will present this one-hour webinar explaining how podcasting is good way to grow your business and find new job leads. Where: Online webinar. When: 7 p.m. Cost: $10.


The Ultimate Networking Event -- Unlike other networking meetings, this one, hosted by Richard Whitaker of The Advisers Network, will include an introduction of each attendee and a definition of what you are seeking from the rest of the group, in order to build stronger business relationships. Where: Bittersweet, Kent. When: Noon to 3 p.m. Cost: Free.

Happy Hour Networking On the Northeast Side -- Meet with some of the top professionals on the northeast Puget Sound region at this relaxed and informal networking opportunity. Guests are welcome with an RSVP. Where: Tandem Wine and Cheese Bar, Bothell. When: 5:30 p.m. Cost: Free.

MITEF NW Venture Lab: Venture Capital Unplugged -- Do you have a great startup business idea but just need to find funding? Make the investment in this workshop featuring some of the region's top venture capitalists, who will provide advice about what grabs their attention. Where: One Union Square Boardroom, Seattle. When: 5:30 to 8 p.m. Cost: $25.

FRI., FEB. 4 - FRI. FEB. 25

Dealing with Nightmare Clients -- For freelance writers looking to become more productive, this four-week online course, sponsored by the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA), will include advice from blogger and freelance guru Michelle Goodman about chasing down payments, handling difficult editors and managing scope creep. Where: Online course. When: Four lessons, e-mailed each Friday through Feb. 25. Cost: $159; $149 for EFA members.


Hire America's Heroes Career Day -- This daylong job fair is focused specifically on returning military veterans, who can network with local employers, meet career coaches and have their resumes reviewed by recruiting specialists. Where: Qwest Field Events Center, SoDo. When: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Cost: Free for veterans.

MON., FEB. 7

YPN at Red Door Spa -- The Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce's Young Professionals Network presents this evening at an Eastside spa, which includes a complimentary mini-treatment, appetizers, wine and networking. Where: Red Door Spa, The Bravern, Bellevue. When: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Cost: $15 to $25.

ProLango Career Mixer -- Paul Anderson, my colleague at Hire Ground, will host this networking opportunity, co-hosted by, and speak about how job seekers can transform their careers in 2011. Where: Hard Rock Café, Seattle. When: 6:30 to 9 p.m. Cost: Free.

WED., FEB. 9

The Greater Seattle Job Fair -- Jobbernaut, the largest hiring event in the Northwest, is back for its quarterly visit to the area. More than 40 companies from around the Sound are expected to attend, with hundreds of job openings of all skill levels to discuss. Where: Qwest Field & Event Center, SoDo. When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost: Free.


Technology Professionals Networking Forum -- This Biznik event is an open forum for IT and web professionals to explore ways to engage and support each others' professional skills, meet new people and explore new approaches in the technology business. Where: Mosaic Den, Seattle. When: 10 a.m. to noon. Cost: Free.

Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.

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1 Comment

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Hi there Randy and Paul,

This is a fantastic list of resources for people. I have one observation though for your readers.

Do these events attract only extroverted people?

I have a condition called "social anxiety," and in the past,I would be too nervous to attend one of these functions. I could think of a thousand reasons to not attend even though I was very interested.

If any of your readers are introverted, shy, or have "social anxiety" and would like to attend these functions, they can call our office and we can help them manage the anxiety.

I learned through many years of University study and can help others in a much shorter time.

Rod Mattson
206 653 7651

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Karen Burns Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.

Kristen Fife Kristen Fife is a senior recruiter, career mentor, blogger and resume consultant based in the Seattle area.

Lisa Quast Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.

Randy Woods Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.

Former contributors

Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.

Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.

Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."


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