The Employment Opportunities List

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Author Archive for Melissa Smith

From the Roots of EO – HR Networking in Durham

Last winter I found myself deep into a job search and had some specific ideas in mind when I thought about what the perfect opportunity looked like. My list of ideas consisted of important things such as; challenge, opportunity for advancement, as well as finding a job close to home.

I live in Durham and had only lived here for a short time when I started my job search and quickly came to the realization that I did not have very many local contacts. I had been a subscriber of the EO list for a few years by now and one day found on there that there would be an HR networking meeting held in Durham. I was so excited to get out there and meet some local HR people.

One of the contacts I made at this event was in a similar situation as I was, looking to make professional connections in Durham. Together we identified that there was a need for an HR centric networking group and this is where the DRHRN (Durham Region Human Resource Networking) came from. The purpose of the DRHRN is to hold regular meetings where HR professionals can seek advice and share knowledge in a diplomatic, confidential environment regarding professional issues that arise, and to create a LinkedIn group to facilitate communication for members between meetings.

The DRHRN started last spring is now 29 members strong, and at each meeting we discuss different topics. At past events we have discussed topic such as; recruiter secrets, job search, building & maintaining a strong professional network, NKE Exam prep, and had a live demonstration on LinkedIn. Future topics for discussion include; approaches to leveraging HR’s value, strategies for building HR’s business acumen & internal marketing, resume feedback etc. We will continue to meet on the 3rd Thursday of the month.

If you are interested in attending a meeting, feel free to send me an email at



Mentoring – WWDD

I was at a networking event in the East end a week ago and it was suggested to me that I write a blog about the experience I have had in a mentorship program.  Immediately I thought, “me blog hmm…, this should be interesting.”  I have to say that with the exception of the past week I have not read very many blogs and therefore I am fairly inexperienced on how they work, so please forgive me if I have missed something.

In January 2010 I had a wonderful opportunity to start a mentoring relationship.  I was paired up with a more experienced HR professional.  We hit it off at the first meeting by starting our relationship on more of a personal level.  We asked and answered questions like, what area do you live in, where do you work, what do you do for fun.  From there we started getting to know each other on a more professional level by talking about experiences I was having a work.  My mentor was more than I could have asked for.  He was able to help me see things through a different light.

Here’s how our meetings would go.  I would bring a situation to him, he would ask me a lot of questions like: did you think about this, and what about what happened last week, and what do you think the likely outcome will be… He would allow me to think about it in a different ways and by the end of the conversation together we would have a solution or an answer to my situation.  After some time I figured the format of our meeting and started doing this on my own and I came up with a slogan to remind myself on how to generate the answers on my own WWDD – What Would Dave Do.  Inevitably, when I use this I come up with the best solutions.

Here’s a quote from my mentor “it was also very beneficial for me and I truly enjoyed our sessions together” – Dave.

If you are thinking about entering into a mentoring relationship either as a mentor or a mentee, I would say go for it!  For me this has been one of the best professional experiences!

I cannot wait until I am in a position to be a mentor.