Teens wanting to land their dream job must have in-person networking skills that include how to work a party. So the Concord Library is throwing a "Get Your Dream!" party just for teens to meet professionals and practice those skills.
"This is a teen event and it's for teens only," said Christina Gendron, library assistant for Teen Services. "(And) it started with the survey and talking with teens."
During the summer and fall months, the Contra Costa County Library conducted a series of surveys, personal interviews and town hall meetings for all its branches to find out how people's library needs have changed and what they want.
One of the results was teens overwhelmingly saying they wanted programs on job searching skills and more help in finding programs having to do with jobs in the arts.
"We thought we would mesh the two into networking," Gendron said. "We started with contacting professionals in the arts."
The lineup of professionals includes those in the music industry, tattoo artists, local restaurant owners, fashion gurus and computer forensic experts, and is still being put together, said Gendron.
A representative of Zebra Walnut Creek and a tattoo artist from Nordstrom, along with trainers from UFC Gym in Concord have confirmed.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 70 percent of all jobs are found through networking.
And Cornell University College of Arts and Science says on its "Networking Made Easy" website, "Networking is NOT about meeting people to ask for a job. It is an ongoing process of relationship building that may result in a variety of opportunities ... throughout your lifetime."
Landing that dream job requires skills, which can be acquired at events like the one at the Concord Library, said Gendron.
There will be free food and drink provided by local restaurants, and the first 20 teens arriving will receive a gift bag from Nordstrom.
The idea is to put everyone at ease, said Gendron. For the most part, after introductions and the initial icebreaker, the professionals will make the first move beginning a conversation.
"A lot of teens don't have in-person practice talking about themselves to professionals," said Gendron.
So to help put the teens more at ease, she has suggested they show up with a 30-second commercial about themselves in mind that tells where they went to school and what their interests are.
Landing the dream job is about showing up, being on time and dressing appropriately, which doesn't necessarily mean a suit and tie or fancy dress.
"It's the same thing every generation tells every other generation: show up on time and be friendly," said Gendron.
Gendron is getting help from her teen advisory group to get the word out to high school students through their leadership councils, fliers and word-of-mouth. She said the networking mixer is not just for Concord students. It is open to all and it is free.
Next week, Gendron will be contacting teachers asking them to make announcements about the networking event in their classes.
"This is really our first go at it," said Gendron. "Its success will dictate the future. We hope to do it every year."
WHAT: Concord Library Teen Dream Job Networking
WHEN: 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19
WHERE: Concord Library, 2900 Salvio St., Concord
COST: Free, includes catered food from local restaurants
INFORMATION: Call Christina Gendron, library assistant for Teen Services, at 925-337-2446