Pennsylvania Professional Employment Network


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is PAPEN?

PAPEN is the Pennsylvania Professional Employment Network, a non-profit, volunteer-based organization that promotes career management through networking.

How did PAPEN begin?

PAPEN was founded in 1992 by A. William Jefferson who, in the midst of a job search, began meeting with several of his friends who were also in job search mode to share leads.

What purpose does PAPEN serve?

PAPEN is an organization of professionals, managers, and executives committed to:
  • Fostering networks of personal contacts and relationships
  • Providing an environment where Participants can develop and perfect their networking skills
  • Sharing career-related experiences, strategies, and knowledge
  • Uncovering career opportunities that may be of interest to other Participants

Who can join?

While most Participants tend to be mid-and upper level management and senior staff professionals, anyone with a sincere desire to enhance his or her career through networking is welcome.

Is there an initial cost to join?

No. A one-time donation of $10.00 is suggested to help cover our low operating costs (meeting materials. web site, etc).

What about regular or recurring dues?

At some meeting we serve coffer and snacks and request a $1.00 donation - but it is strictly voluntary and optional

Why should I join?

Networking is the best way to find your dream job. Most long-term high-quality jobs involve networking in some way, shape or form. PAPEN meeting provide an opportunity to develop and perfect your networking skills, to build and enhance your personal network, to hear industry professionals address topics which will enhance your job search skills, increase your marketability, or whatever.

Attending meetings on a regular basis helps restore a little regularity to this difficult time of your life, gives you something to focus on, and may help increase your personal accountability with respect to your job search. If you choose to become involved as a Chapter officer, you will have an opportunity to develop and demonstrate your personal leadership skills to improve the organization.

How is PAPEN organized?

PAPEN is based on the "Chapter" concept. Chapters are autonomous groups which operate under the general guidelines of formal bylaws. Chapters elect their own officers, schedule their own speakers, and conduct meetings.

Each Chapter's Director and Assistant Director are members of the Executive Board. In addition, there are five Members at Large who are elected via global balloting. The board then elects a chair, vice-chair, secretary and treasurer. The chair may appoint any committees as appropriate.

What happens at Chapter meetings?

Here's a thumbnail description of a typical meeting:
  • Prior to the official meeting start, Participants may network with other Participants, new Participants, or the scheduled speaker.
  • Once the meeting is opened, there are introductions and various brief announcements.
  • The scheduled speaker presents a topic of interest to job seekers.
  • After the presentation, there is a short break. Following the break, Participants reconvene in 'focus groups' to network, discuss job search goals, skills, and strategies.

How do I find out about what's happening in this (or any other) chapter?

Chapter meetings provide a variety of useful information including a schedule of upcoming speakers at each Chapter.

Where and when do Chapters meet?

The meeting schedule is here

Can I join more than one Chapter?

Absolutely. You may vote for officers at each Chapter, but you may vote only once for At-Large Participants, regardless of how many chapters you join. If you attend multiple meetings in any week, you need not donate $1.00 at every meeting.

Who decides the topic and speakers for each meeting?

Each chapter has a 'Programs Chairperson' whose responsibilities include scheduling topics and speakers. If you have a suggestion for an interesting topic or speaker, see your Programs Chairperson and make your voice heard. He or she has a master index of all people who have recently spoken at PAPEN and their topics.

How are PAPEN Chapters governed?

Chapter Officers are elected every 6 months or when a vacancy occurs. Chapter Officers are responsible for local operations within the general scope of control as defined by the by-laws or by guidelines created by the Executive Board. For more information, see the Executive Board FAQ.

What kinds of jobs does PAPEN find for its Participants?

None. Our mission is not to find you a job; that's your mission. We do, however, receive job leads from a variety of local employers, out-of-town employers, recruiters, and our own Participants.

What job placement services does PAPEN provide?

None. Participants are responsible for identifying suitable job leads, making initial contacts, and providing any documentation that may be required by the prospective employer.

Who do I see to rewrite my resume?

The best way to get help with your resume is to first develop a personal support network within PAPEN and then ask your network for help.

Where can I find out about job leads which have been sent to PAPEN?

The website or Chapter Director will have the most current job leads.

How long will it take me to find a new job?

That depends on many things including how hard you work at it, the type of position you are seeking and general local market conditions aloong with your geographical and salary flexibility . Some Participants have found jobs in days, while others have been without permanent positions for over two years.

When can I expect to see some positive results in my job search?

The question is ambiguous, since 'positive results' is a subjective term and thus a matter of personal opinion. If you're serious about networking, and serious about your job search, you could very well see results after only one meeting.

How many meetings should I plan to attend?

A fair question. Most people erroneously believe that finding a job means that they cease their association with PAPEN. Smart networkers will strengthen their individual relationships and continue their relationship with the organization, either through attending meetings whenever possible, serving as a speaker, helping out with ongoing projects to improve the organization, reminding their employer that PAPEN is a viable source of experienced job candidates, promoting PAPEN wherever possible, or acting as a resource for other PAPEN Participants.

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PA Professional Employment Network