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Professional Development

Professional development is the continuous process of acquiring new knowledge and skills that relate to one’s profession, job responsibilities, or work environment. It plays a key role in maintaining trained, knowledgeable, and motivated employees, regardless of job classification. The objectives of Operation F.A.M.’s professional development workshops are to help youth and young adults enhance their job skills, obtain job-related knowledge and information, increase productivity and efficiency, and/or prepare for higher-level positions.

Operation F.A.M. will offer 10 workshops on Professional Development that are challenging and engaging to youth and young adults from urban communities. Each of these workshops will be interactive and held in classroom sessions, where the presenter will go over key points through a PowerPoint presentation. There will be other props to the workshop such as surveys, role playing, and critiquing in these sessions.

Below is the list and descriptions of Operation F.A.M.’s 10 Professional Development programs:






Dress for Success 
Ideally, everyone should dress for the life they want, but what this means has changed drastically over time. While you must keep in mind that you are dressing for the career position and life you want, you also have to understand that there is no longer a set standard for successful dressing; and that you also need to dress to suit your own individualism and level of confidence. Our Dress for Success program will help young people understand and demonstrate what attire is appropriate for interviews, work, and work social events. This program will also give direction and tips on where to get the most cost effective work clothes.

The Dress for Success workshop will cover:
  • Personal branding
  • What to consider when dressing for success>
  • Whether you should dress differently when dressing to meet with a male as opposed to a female
  • What does Dressing for Success look like
  • Creating a personalized success look for you
  • Resources for support and easy wardrobe development

Interviewing Skills 
Landing the perfect job can be a challenge, but with the determination and passion you will need to begin a successful career, you can easily overcome this challenge equipped with information that will help ease the worry of the interview process. Even if you do not land the job on the first interview you will be able to learn from your experience and bring invaluable lessons learned with you to the next interview. Just a little preparation and thought ahead of time can have wondrous effects on your interviewing skills. This workshop will go over the issues and provide an in-depth analysis of the interviewing process. This workshop is to help youth and young adults understand the processes of different types of interview (behavioral, presentation, case, situational). We will discuss the do’s and don’ts of interviewing and perform regular mock interviews to expand interviewing abilities. Preparing for your job interview could very well be one of the most important moments of your career.

Topics will include:
  • Types of interviews
  • Common Interview Questions
  • What Employers Want
  • Attitude and Effort
  • Body Language
  • Research
  • The Mock Interview
  • Phone Interviews
  • Behavioral Interviews-In Depth
  • Closing the Interview
  • Thank You Notes
Resumes & Cover Letters 
Today, resumes must appeal to potential employers while also being optimized for the electronic age. Whether you are handing a resume over in person or are emailing an electronic copy to be added to an online database, the words you use and the formatting you choose will make a big difference in whether or not you get that interview.

This workshop teaches you not just what a resume should look like, but what it should say. It walks you step-by-step through the creation of the most common sections found on resumes in today's job market. In addition to helping you determine what information should be included, it also goes a step further to help you realize what pitfalls to avoid when creating this powerful, job-searching tool.

This workshop will go over how to write a resume and cover letters. This program will also have professional come in and critique resumes.  One of the most important and intimidating steps in the job search process is writing a solid resume that gets the attention you want and need. Unfortunately, many job seekers get overwhelmed before they even get started. The result is poorly-written resumes that are built on top of templates that don't do the job seeker any good.

This course will cover:
  • Resume Design & Formatting for Paper, Email, Upload & ATS
  • Resume Writing: Section by Section
  • English Language & Grammar for Resume Writers
  • Great Resume Writing Strategies & Techniques
  • Best Practices in Resume Writing
  • Quantifying Your Success on Your Resume
  • Essential Resume Companions: Cover Letters, E-Notes & LinkedIn Profiles
Dining Etiquette 
Manners and etiquette in a business environment can improve your confidence when meeting potential clients and/or senior executives. New business contacts can take cues from your behavior at the dining table as indicative of how you might handle their business - so a great first impression is critical. What could be worse than delivering a great presentation to prospective clients, only to lose the business because of how you handled yourself at a follow-up lunch? Business dining events are more than just a meal, they are an opportunity for new contacts to assess each other, and learn more about their prospective partner than what PowerPoint slides can effectively communicate.

This unique business dining etiquette training workshop teaches you everything that you need to know to entertain business clients, as well as, attend business functions. This workshop is to inform youth and young adults of what the appropriate etiquette language for eating with coworkers is. We will discuss appropriate foods to eat, place settings, meal prices, order of ordering, and when to eat.

This course covers the following subjects:
  • Hosting the Business Meal
  • Seating Strategy
  • Ordering
  • Alcohol Protocol
  • Business Talk and Taboo Topics
  • Handling the Bill
  • The Table Setting
  • Styles of Eating: Continental and American
  • The Dinner Napkin
  • Bread and Butter
  • The Soup Course
  • Passing Food
  • Dessert and the Finger Bowl
  • Toasting
  • Handling Dining Dilemmas
  • The Top Business Dining Etiquette Faux Pas (Mistakes)
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Eating Difficult Food
Self-Inventory 
Are you doing your best at what you do? Many today have interests in various things; however, do not give their all in what they are doing. This could be because of a lack of interest; or easily, not knowing how to dedicate more of yourself to your goals. This program will have youth and young adults take a self-inventory check to guide them while figuring out what they enjoy doing and if they are putting the appropriate time into that goal/talent. It will also help identifying their interests and finding work fields related to that interest.

This workshop will go over the following:
  • How to choose a topic to focus on that you are deeply in love with
  • Figuring out who had already made it where you want to go and looking at their paths of how they got there
  • Analyzing your day to day activities to find free time to dedicate to your goal/talent
  • Figure out if you need to go to school for your skill or if you can learn by doing
  • Coming up with an action plan to  work towards learning more about your goal/talent
  • Focusing on making long term money goals that begin in your 20s
  • Selecting a mentor
  • Being flexible and creative while trying to accomplish your goals
Learning MS Office Applications 
Microsoft Office can be used in any work environment, it’s user friendly and not as complicated as some may think. Microsoft Office is the world’s best and most famous work program for studying, personal use, and office work. Despite this fact, some have yet to learn how to use these programs and this could lead to additional difficulty in school and at work. Microsoft Office includes Access, Excel, Power Point, and Word; which will be discussed in this workshop. Microsoft Office is a crucial piece of software for businesses nowadays, offering the users the ability to keep track of stock and finances with Microsoft Excel, the ability to creatively present their ideas at meetings with Microsoft PowerPoint, and allowing the user to keep a database of customer information with Microsoft Access, as well as, create many documents with Word. Different businesses obviously have different needs for such software, but most, if not all, companies could benefit from using Microsoft Office. Be it a small time business promoting itself through the use of fliers, to a huge business, which needs their accounts tended to by multiple people. This workshop will teach the basics of MS Office Applications to help in school and later in work.  

In this series, students will learn about four different applications:
  • Access Applications
    • Access - Creating Databases and Tables
    • Access – Forms
    • Access - Importing Lists from Excel and Other Programs
    • Access – Queries
    • Access – Reports
  • Excel
    • Excel - Charts and Graphs
    • Excel – Functions
    • Excel - Introduction to Creating Spreadsheets
    • Excel - Printing Spreadsheets
    • Excel - Formatting
  • PowerPoint
    • PowerPoint - Creating Presentations
    • PowerPoint - Enhancing Presentations
  • Word
    • Word - Basics and Shortcuts
    • Word - Desktop Publishing
    • Word - Mail merge Lists and Margins
    • Word - Tables Tabs and Columns
Communication Skills 
Individual and team success depends upon the ability of individuals to communicate with others; face to face, as well as virtually. Every interaction with another person determines how you are perceived; and every interaction is an opportunity to develop trust and exert positive influence. Whether presenting one-on-one or to an audience of one thousand; conveying information to a project team or delivering a difficult message; communicating effectively, is one of the most powerful skills for achieving your objectives.

This workshop develops your ability to focus on the outcome, tune in to the audience and develop a message for clarity and impact. Your ability to create an environment for open discussion and ongoing dialogue is crucial for communication success. The communications skills covered in this workshop will increase your ability to exercise choice, control for every type of conversation, influence without authority, and improve quality of relationships and productivity.

Students will learn:

  • Goals for Specific Communications/Planning a Communication Strategy: Defining goals and  the most effective methods of delivery & Identifying your communication outcome and plan the best approach for achieving positive results
  • The Communication Process: Understanding the six step process
  • Foundation Tools: Setting the stage for successful communications, one-on-one and with groups
  • Barriers to Effective Communications: Identifying and developing methods to break down those barriers
  • Communication Skills: Learning how to combine the four key elements and the five basic skills to communicate with impact Influencing Techniques and expanding on communication skills, using techniques and strategies to influence others behaviors and develop more collaborative working relationships
  • Face to Face and Virtual Facilitation/Meeting Communication Skills: Learning to communicate and facilitate effective group interactions
  • Networking Skills: How to follow up and build relationships
The “Unwritten Rules” 
Subtle dynamics below an organization's surface can impact many career opportunities.   Learning the unwritten do’s and don’ts of an organization is imperative to know and understand in order to succeed in a diverse workforce. Organizations of all types have made tremendous strides in diversifying their employee ranks at all levels, but there is still room for progress. Consider the following statistics:

  • According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for blacks is twice that of whites; Hispanics are almost 50 percent more likely than whites to be unemployed.
  • According to the Corporate Diversity Report released by Sen. Robert Menendez in August 2010, women represent half the U.S. workforce but only 35 percent of executives. Minorities are 35 percent of the overall population but account for only 10 percent of executive managers.
  • According to the 2010 U.S. Census, women earn 77 cents for every dollar men earn. The statistics are even more uneven for African-American women (67 cents) and Latinas (59 cents).

Some might see this data as proof of the lingering existence of racism and sexism. Others are convinced their organizations are true meritocracies. They may wonder if persistent gaps in earnings and promotion rates are simply a demonstration that some
groups are not as suited to organizational demands.

Debating the reasons why does little to change the status quo. What’s required is an
honest look at the opportunities for organizational leaders and minorities to accelerate
 full development and utilization of all the members of a diverse workforce.

In this workshop students will learn how to:
  • Watch for strong headwinds
  • Understand the power of the individual
  • Be curious, rather than judgmental, about the experiences of those who are different than themselves
  • Examine what organizational norms and traditions are truly important for success
  • Be sensitive to how stereotypes are being conveyed in the organization
  • Clarify expectations around unwritten rules and take advantage of opportunities for growth
  • Provide feedback in a constructive way
  • Be open about experiences
  • Focus on problem solving, not blame
  • Partner with people from different backgrounds
  • Take relationship risks
  • Take responsibility for development.
Prioritizing Tasks 
There are different methods in prioritizing tasks that people do in any type of business venture. There are certain individuals helping struggling people to overcome obstacles and pursue their passion. For others, their passion might be cooking, fitness, sports or even music. The things they all have in common are that prioritizing tasks to achieve their goals helps their dreams become a reality. In this workshop, students will go in depth, being realistic with their “to-do’s” and appropriately listing them in the order of importance to assist them in being more organized and efficient.

Students will learn how to perform the following simple method to prioritize tasks and to manage time:
  • Listing your tasks in your daily planner.
  • Assign letters to each task as follows:
    • A = High Priority (Must be completed ASAP)
    • B = Important (It would be good to get this done today but it’s not critical.)
    • C = Less Important (This is more of a someday list.)
  • Assign numbers, in order of importance, to each letter (ex. A1, A2, B1, B2, B3, C1, and C2). This is the numerical order you will follow. A’s are done first starting with A1. If time is left after the A’s are done, start on the B’s, followed by the C’s.
Stress Management 
Stress is common to those in the work force and in school due to time pressures and the nature of the work that is to be performed. Balancing the demands of school, work and other events in our lives often result in stress. Developing coping strategies and recognizing stress can allow us to deal with stressful events and avoid the chronic effects of stress. In this workshop, attention will be given to typical external events which may act as stressors and how to deal with them.   This workshop will allow participants to examine stress management techniques, develop an action plan for stress management and identify support available.

The workshop will examine the following key questions/topics:
  • What is stress?
  • What stressors affect you?
  • How do you recognize stress?
  • What can you do to relieve stress?
  • Stress Management
  • Finding Support to help with Stress