Community partner spotlight: Professional Services Group

To extend our community outreach, the library partners with many of the municipal, non-profit, and business organizations that make Princeton such an extraordinary town. This month, the Professional Service Group of Mercer County (PSG) is in the spotlight and we spoke with David Schuchman, Executive Chair and Leader of the group, to learn more about this partnership.

PSG’s partnership with the library helps people develop a wide variety of skills integral to making a career transition or finding employment. Meeting weekly on Friday mornings, PSG brings in speakers who present on a wide variety of topics. Recent topics have included: preparing for video interviews, beating the applicant-tracking system and effective networking. PSG is also a partner in building social infrastructure. Attendees come together to learn skills that will make them more competitive in the job market, and, equally important, they find fellowship and support. When an attendee lands a job, they are encouraged to come back, share their landing story, and celebrate their achievement. 

The library greatly appreciates the work PSG does to serve job-seeking community members, and is glad to support PSG with its mission of helping people find employment.

How long has PSG of Mercer County been in Princeton? 

We began our partnership with the library in mid-2012 when we moved our weekly Friday morning meetings from the Labor and Workforce Development Office in Trenton to the library. 

What is your primary area of focus? 

We work hard every week to bring networking opportunities and enrichment seminars to job seekers and professionals in transition who are seeking new employment opportunities or exploring new career paths. 

How does your mission align with the library’s?

Like the library, we want to be a positive and valuable resource for those seeking a particular kind of help, namely, career development. And the library gives us a great location and, more importantly, a naturally caring and nurturing environment for our programs. There is a lot of positive energy at the library and our members can feel it! 

With whom do you work most in the community? 

We work with everyone from seasoned professionals in transition, to early retirees seeking a new career path, to first-time job seekers. 

What is something that you do that people might not know about? 

In addition to our weekly meetings, which feature networking and speakers on every imaginable career topic from video interviewing to human resources navigation, to resume development and personal motivation (even meditation), we also offer small group workshops on the second Monday of every month (in the library’s Technology Center) that cover topics like resume and cover-letter writing, interviewing skills and personal marketing plans. 

Is there any project or event that you are particularly excited about at the moment? 

Our next Friday meeting! We are truly blessed to have an amazing roster of guest speakers and presenters from across the region that continues to grow and lets us offer new and extremely relevant programs virtually every week of the year to people who want to make the most of their career. We think it’s the most robust program of its kind anywhere.

The library has many resources in addition to PSG meetings for people looking to get a job for the first time, or for people transitioning to a new career.

First, books.

We also offer  ways to develop new skills through our technology courses within the library and which you can access from home with your library card.

Speaking of databases that you can access with your library card (or in the library on any computer), there are several which can offer valuable advice in your career search.

Brainfuse offers JobNow – where you can get live resume help, work with an interview coach and get  some extra tools for your career – like a skillsurfer, career assessment and work with optimal resume software.

Through Infobase, the library offers Ferguson’s Career Guidance Center. It offers information about industries and careers, how to plan your education to meet your career goals as well as ways to launch your career.

With the NJ State Library we offer EBSCO Learning Express’s Job & Career Accelerator, This database helps you find a career match, explore different occupations, search for jobs and internships, learn some new tools to get hired, explore a career library and a school and scholarship finder.

Through the library’s website you can also link to the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s NJ Career Connections website which has a lot of wonderful tools for jobseekers.

These resources can be found on our ‘job-seeking’ webpage.

Kelsey Ockert, Technology Services Librarian also contributed to this post.

Photo Credit: David Schuchman

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