Brenda Blackburn - Personal & Professional Development Facilitator
Brenda Blackburn

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June 14, 2011

3:19 pm Helpful employment related links for internationally trained professionals

One of my industry friends, Matt Oliver (CDP/Social Media Consultant) was blogging live from the ITP (Internationally Trained Professionals) Conference on June 8/11.   A great idea and I enjoyed reading the posts when I could visit the Twitter ‘stream’ that day.

Meanwhile, another industry friend, Richard Lindfield (Facilitator/Business Coach/Mentor with Targeted Initiative for Older Workers and Working Beyond – Self Employment) compiled a list of all the links that were ‘tweeted’ on Twitter for that ‘hashtag’ (#itp2011).  He has kindly given me permission to share them with you:!/@SkillsConnectIP


Filed under: Career Coaching,Networking — Brenda @ 3:19 pm

April 29, 2011

6:04 pm Networking, Business Cards & Social Media

Okay. So you’ve just come back from a networking event and have a pile of business cards you’ve collected from all the folks you’ve interacted with. Now what?

In the past, we might have input the information into our computer’s address book and emailed everyone a followup letter. And while this is a great idea, once the initial followup action has been taken, that’s where it may end for a number of your contacts. Let’s face it…. life is busy and out of sight means out of mind.

A more current method is to conduct a search for your new contacts on all the various social media sites you use: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc. (Personally, I check LinkedIn first, as that’s my “go to” professional site. From there, if the contact has a profile page, I can investigate further to see if they have a Twitter account, etc., it will usually be listed.) Of course, if they have their social media URLs listed on their business cards the searching is unnecessary, but due to space restraints often this just isn’t the case.

When requesting to add them to your network, be sure to write your followup letter within the body of your request. (One of my pet peeves is receiving LinkedIn requests that use the generic request sentence. Be creative and personal your message instead!)

Once connected, it’s easier to keep consistent communication with everyone. When you see your contact’s posts, you can comment, “retweet”, or “like”, and keep the dialogue going.

And while you’re networking online, don’t forget to connect with people of interest in the discussion groups or “twibes” you participate in.

Regarding business/calling cards: an interesting idea I ran into today is the “social trading card”. It uses smartphone scanner technology (QR), which brings people to a page with all your websites listed in one spot. An interesting innovation that you may want to consider purchasing for large networking events and conferences. I know I will! For details, see:

Happy networking!

Filed under: Career Coaching,Networking — Brenda @ 6:04 pm

May 26, 2010

12:39 pm The Power of Why

Today I was watching an interesting TED Talk with Simon Sinek on The Power of Why and how this relates to marketing, branding, and so on. This can be easily applied to our career growth, networking, etc.

Here’s how he explained it:
* He drew a few circles on a flipchart: the outer circle being WHAT, the circle inside that being HOW, and the very inner circle being WHY. This diagram is called the Golden Circle.
* He mentioned that most people/companies operate from the outside in. (They talk about WHAT they do/make, HOW they do it, and lastly WHY they do it.)
* He explains how the best innovators instead do it in the reverse and work from the inside out.

(You can check it on the video at:

Here’s how it works:
* first the WHY: why you do what you do which includes: your purpose, cause or belief; driving motivation for action
* then the HOW: how you’re different, how you do it (how you deliver your “why”): strategies, principles, actions you take or environment in which you work best
* and lastly the WHAT: what you offer and/or do

You need to promote to and attract people who believe what we believe. People buy what you believe.

Interestingly enough, I was a call-in guest today on Career Success Radio, and a live example of the Golden Circle was used. Co-host Keith Keller FIRST asked author Karen Adamedes about what the inspiration was behind her book. In other words, what he first cared to know about was the WHY. A great real life example of how valuable this marketing perspective can be.

I thought about it and decided to give it a try with my own business…

* WHY I do what I do: I believe that people enjoy personal and professional growth and development if the process is one of self-discovery or re-discovery. I believe that we learn best when our minds are illuminated, when we feel inspired, when the learning is interactive and we can immediately integrate our learning into real life application for positive results.

* HOW: By facilitating a fun, dynamic, and experiential process. By delivering a level of service that is transparent and authentic, enthusiastic and engaging, personable and professional.

* WHAT: Powerful Personal Enrichment Workshops on a variety of topics:

I think this is a great little exercise that you can use to aid in your own career. For example, whether you are exploring new careers, job searching, wanting career advancement, or strategizing for your business, you can use this WHY, HOW, WHAT model for your branding, marketing, promotion, and networking.

Please feel free to comment by sharing your examples of your WHY, HOW, WHAT!

Filed under: Career Coaching,Networking — Brenda @ 12:39 pm

June 8, 2009

11:38 pm Social Media quote

If (social media) users actualize values of cooperation, collaboration, voluntarism, sharing and trust in their social interactions online, this surely has implications for social engagement offline. – Kate Milberry

Filed under: Networking,Quotes — Brenda @ 11:38 pm

May 24, 2009

1:42 am Twitter Networking Magic

I have to say that I’m loving Twitter already, and I only just recently joined!

Some time back, one of my friends was talking to me about it and, I have to admit it, I thought how can I possibly add (and manage) yet another social network to my list? Being as busy as I’ve been (now taking some “down time” for prof. dev. and a breather!), I’ve found it a challenge to keep up with them all, my blog (as you can see), etc., etc., etc.! But Twitter is so convenient and easy. I can keep everyone posted and share information when I’m on the go with my iPhone. (Man, I do LOVE technology!)

After attending my local BCN (Business Circle Network) dinner meeting recently, we had some GREAT speakers who extolled Twitter’s ventures, and I was sold! So fantastic to build community, share trusted information, networking, etc. I learned so much already from it and am making new connections. In fact, just tonight I found a new follower to my “tweets”… I checked out her website and found a perfect product! (More on that in a moment!)

So if you’re interesting in checking it out, go to

To find me, I’m @brenblackburn.

If you want to join up to a Twitter directory, try: (You can find me under the tags: #education, #facilitators, #inspiration.)

If you’re in the Vancouver, BC area and want to find out more information about the BCN meetings (a great place to meet some wonderful business people, to network, learn, and share information), contact: Richard or Jose at 604 729-8466 or 604 450-0087 or by email at or They’re on Twitter also, at: @RichWillems and @jsgalang.

The awesome speakers were:
* Jen Duguay, , and you can find her on Twitter @JenTekk.
* Rastin and Arash of rmd Studio, On Twitter @rmdstudio

And the product I found tonight through a follower was a very bold, funky “Aurora necklace”… PERFECT to wear when I teach Personality Dimensions (facilitated assessment and interactive discovery) which is based on four primary colours. If you teach colours assessments (or not) this is worth checking out!
* Aliona of Aliona K jewelry, . You can find her on Twitter @AlionaKjewelry

So feel free to stop by Twitter and follow my tweets to keep up-to-date. I’ve just started out there, so I look forward to seeing some old friends come onboard and make new ones!!

Have a great day and “tweet” ya later! ;)

Filed under: Networking — Brenda @ 1:42 am

May 15, 2009

12:33 am I’m back and on Twitter!

Hi everyone! I know… it’s been awhile! Lots happening and business has been brisk! Soooo, I’ve signed up to Twitter so that it’s easier for me to keep everyone posted while I’m on the go, and in between my blogs and newsletter updates. You can follow me at: I look forward to “tweeting” with you! :)

Filed under: Networking — Brenda @ 12:33 am

March 27, 2008

11:14 am MySpace

I recently joined up to MySpace…you can see me at I’m still new and learning, so bear with me as I get my page up to speed! If anyone has any great page building tips/resources they can share with me, I’d be happy to learn!

I admit, I’m one of those people who was reluctant to join myspace for the longest time. I have a lot of musician friends, so I typically thought of it as a vehicle for that industry. I’m glad I decided to branch out though…I’m meeting lots of great people, seeing new and amazing talent, and catching up with old friends. New networking is always fun…and interesting!

I do get friend requests from MLM/marketing/get-rich-quick type myspace sites, which I do not accept, especially due to the amount of phishing and spam requests I get now. Sorry folks!

Also, if you’re an author, I’m on a couple of author sites, and would be happy to share the resources if you’d like to discuss or drop me a request.

Once my book is released (oh, the waiting! :) ), then I’ll be on a LOT more network sites, which I’ll pass along when the time comes.

If you have any networking sites re: personal development, spirituality, writing/publishing, or ? that you’d like to share, please send them over!

Talk to you soon,
From a cool, damp, autumn afternoon in Vancouver,

Filed under: Brenda Blackburn news,Networking — Brenda @ 11:14 am

email Brenda 604-309-0610