with Planning Meeting & Resume Swap
1pm-9pm Monday, September 16th
(5pm Resume Swap, 7pm N4P Planning Meeting)
MLK Library’s Dream Lab
Digital Commons (Conference Room 5)
901 G Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20001
@ Metro Center or Gallery Place
Job Seekers, Entrepreneurs, Freelancers, Organizers and Volunteers are all welcome to get out of their pajamas at home or take a break from their latte addiction at Starbucks to join us….just RSVP in advance if possible.
If you want to get involved in the political/civic grassroots or professional scene OR connect with others who do, then stop by and we will plug you into various opportunities you can work on immediately….and crowdsource new ones.
As you may know, the new “Digital Commons” (http://www.dclibrary.org/digitalcommons) will soon become home to a Dream Lab coworking community and is a great space for using free computers and wifi-enabled meeting rooms. So, feel free to come by with a charged laptop or smart phone…and even if you don’t!
At 5pm, we will do a Resume Swap and Career Discussion with anyone interested in improving their job search.
At 7pm, we will break for a Planning Meeting to discuss our ideas for Network For Progress (Generation Obama 2.0) and Progress Office now that Jim’s summer hiatus is over, including advocacy for the Affordable Care Act launch (10/1) and Virginia Gubernatorial Election (11/5) as well events such as meetups and fundraisers like our annual date auction in October! Movement-building categories include Community(Events, Outreach), Engagement (Communications, Technology), Development (Careers, Organizing, Leadership), Action (Campaign, Advocacy, Service) & Operations (finance, management).
There is plenty of space in the Digital Commons so these sessions will be separate from anyone co-working or co-organizing on their own.
At 9pm, anyone interested in continuing the coworking party is welcome to join us as we walk over to 1776, the amazing entrepreneurial/startup campaign and event space in McPherson Square, for the DC Night Owls Meetup – an after hours coworking community of self-starters turning big ideas into exciting projects! RSVP (space is limited): http://www.meetup.com/dcnightowls/events/135398802/
PARTNERS WANTED: Do you have an organization that could use a place to meet OR would want to collaborate with other groups OR that would be willing to sponsor us with resources ranging from laptops to snacks? Email Jim @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact: Jim McBride
(please do NOT ask library staff questions about our event…they are not the hosts)
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It has been disconcerting to see several young candidates lose in recent Virginia elections but despite my support for an “upstart” like President Obama in 2008 I am realizing that this makes sense…..and i think it might help for me to share why.
Especially because ANYONE can benefit from understanding the similar ways you can succeed both in Politics AND in Life.
I think the lesson here has a lot to do with the concept of Network For Progress, the grassroots group I created partly as a result of our great Generation Obama-DC career-building programs that Shawn Logue and a big team of enthusiastic job seekers launched in 2009 that was a great help to hundreds of young professionals seeking opportunity after the 2008 election.
Young professionals who attended and followed GO-DC Career Networking program’s numerous workshops on networking and resume reviews as well as online group sharing of jobs and events, had an opportunity to learn from each other and connect with each otherso they could utilize new tools, methods, contacts and even friendships that could help them with their job search and future career.
As with anything in life, it’s not “what you know“ it’s “who you know”.…especially because who you know has a huge influence on what you know and what you can do!
The same is true with politics…you can’t campaign in a silo.
If you run for office before you know your community and can build a reputation while learning the issues from your neighbors, you’re going to have a hard time.
On the surface, it looks like you are trying to skip a grade in school or demand to become CEO after six months at your company. Not entirely because of your age, but because you still need to show you’re the Right Messenger with the Right Message.
Therefore, I have seen great young candidates try to “door knock” their way to victory and most recently reach voters very effectively both online AND online…to disappointing results.
So, even if a candidate might seem to be the more effective talent for the position they’re pursuing and their campaign does things technically right in terms of each “medium” they use to communicate to voters they can miss the forest above the trees of campaign operations. In the best case scenario, they’re at least prepared for some big obstacles to overcome.
Rachel Maddow covered the recent primary for Lt. Governor and Attorney General on Wednesday and opened my eyes in terms where these blind spots can develop by sharing their TV ads: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/26315908/ns/msnbc_tv-rachel_maddow_show/vp/52187023#52187023
It is hard to pinpoint all the factors in the election but it shouldn’t be a surprise that the two candidates who already held the credential of having run for public office (so they proved they could engage their OWN community even if most voters didn’t know them) and who connected best in their advertising with what the majority of the electorate (women) most care about (Virginia Republican efforts to interfere in women’s health) were victorious on Primary Day.
Hence, these candidates proved to have be the Right Messenger for the Right Message for the Democratic Primary voter…who is a bit different than the General Election voter who compromises less ideological and lower information audiences.
So, be careful about punching above your weight class until you have though your strategy through!
If you want to run for office, try Young Democrat and Party positions or participating in community organizations first to build a network and learn what it takes to succeed as a leader.
Then, if you want to run for statewide, federal or executive office, get RE-ELECTED or at least SERVE A FULL-TERM in a lower-level position first (Mark Herring, Ralph Northam) so you have an unofficial community endorsement and can avoid a Sarah Palin-esque image of leaving too soon. Otherwise, have a proven track record from a truly prominent role in your professional career (i.e. Al Franken).
And finally, when I say “learn what it takes to succeed as a leader” I mean it!
To paraphrase Mr. Wolf in Pulp Fiction, just because you ARE in a “leadership” role, it doesn’t mean you HAVE “leadership” qualities.
Build a base of support by hosting events, working on projects, building teams and get things done that you can talk about…..even before you run!
Companies are checking the social media presence of prospective applicants more and more these days not because they want to catch you with a beer in your hand….they want to see proof of who you are and what you can do. The same is true in politics.
Therefore, as any social media seminar will suggest, Blogging, Tweeting, Training or otherwise sharing your experiences and knowledge with others will establish you as an “expert” in your field who has the skills for leadership. Personally, I have been amazed at the opportunities that I have been able to secure or have fallen in my lap because I am actively engaging people in the community as possibly the first contact they think of when it becomes to Democratic politics.
And remember that in the REAL world, people don’t care who what you can for YOURSELF as much as what you can do for THEM….that’s where the “reputation” part of network-building comes in.
If I just forwarded posts on my news feed from the Barack Obama fan page people might not take me as seriously as an activist. Yet by leading or sharing a variety of activist information people probably think I am more than a one-trick pony and can be helpful to talk to when they have a related cause they’re interested in.
And it works best if you ENJOY helping others….otherwise you probably won’t be very good at it.
The best example of this is actually President Obama. He didn’t get elected because he simply decided he wanted to run for President at age 46….just TWO years after being elected as a Senator.
Barack Obama was basically drafted by the people who were so inspired by the way he authentically SHARED his vision for America in his DNC Convention Keynote Speech in 2004 and then after he was overwhelmingly elected as a U.S. Senator came out in droves to see him on the campaign trail with Senator Webb and other candidates in 2006.
Americans believed that he really cared AND was capable of lead them to make their OWN lives better…..so he was ready.
So, definitely think about these things before you run…and make sure to prove to yourself AND to others that you’re the RIGHT MESSENGER for the leadership you want.
Then maybe even YOU will become the next Barack Obama….for your community, for your state, or for your country!.
IS THIS FWDPROGRESS? Let me know what you think!
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