Interview with an Arlington Entrepreneur

Our members come from a variety of backgrounds and hold many different interests. Since we’re co-hosting an event with AE Premium member David Plancon and the Job Club Evening Group in early September, here’s a great introduction to the group and its founder, researched and written by AE member Judith Pfeffer:

More than a Decade on, Job Club Continues to Grow Strong

by Judith Pfeffer

Table with coffee mugs
The Job Club is for Entrepreneurs, too.

Networking, sharing of career ideas, job-search tips, job listings, resume input, socializing and more – these are the benefits “members” enjoy when they participate in the regular meetings and other activities of “the job club.”

There are no dues, membership cards or entrance requirements. People working full-time, part-time entrepreneurs, the retired and those “between jobs” are all welcome.

The Job Club was a recently begun activity meeting during daylight hours at the Cambridge career center, according to David Plancon, who joined in 2009 when the organization was less than a year old.

“The members responded well to my being up front; helping them to articulate and come to terms with their career issues became a great source of satisfaction for me, so I looked for ways to develop the activity,” he told AE in a recent email interview.

Soon, he was asked to lead the group – and has done so ever since, even though he obtained a staff position at Northeastern University in 2011. Under his leadership, in 2010, the Job Club became primarily a series of regularly scheduled evening meetings alternating between Cambridge and Belmont, also including dining at selected restaurants throughout Middlesex County, and branching out to include visits to museums, concerts and the like.

“Thanks to the loyalty of our members, we are now well into our ninth year,” he noted earlier this summer.

Those who participate a little or a lot have the opportunity “to meet and talk with other members, to become acquainted with their perspectives, to get ideas for better career strategies and tactics, to tell their stories and to hear the narratives of others, to be there for one another at the stressful times of job and career transition.”

Plancon has continually expanded the mission, the activities and the mini-library of career-related articles. “We are now planning networking dinners, informal sessions, and cultural outings in an effort to bring members together in a leisure setting, and to help them become more interesting candidates in job interviews.

“Our collection of learning aids now numbers more than 700 articles and slide sets covering a wide spectrum of job-search and career-development topics. I have compiled more than 500 pages of notes on office software such as Word, Excel, and Quickbooks. Several of our members have contributed notes from career-center workshops.”

He emphasized that not all participants need or want a traditional 9-5 job working for others.

“Our collaboration with Arlington Entrepreneurs, new this year, is bringing additional networking opportunities and activities to be shared by both groups,” He noted. “We have had freelancers in the Evening Group since the beginning. Many AE members would benefit from our meetings and resources, especially if they are looking for
part-time work when they are getting their businesses established. Even those whose businesses require full-time effort can benefit from making contacts and gaining customers through networking. By being there to support other entrepreneurs in the group, they will feel satisfaction, gain ideas and insights, and see their investment of time and thought pay dividends in goodwill.”

Plancon volunteers his time to organize and plan meetings, outings and other events.

“My role in this is not to sell a service, but to offer an opportunity for people to come together, socialize, and discuss career issues. Together we’ve crafted a valuable experience for ourselves. I’d like to think of this activity as a voyage of discovery; as we develop our understanding of career issues, we also clarify our personal values and goals.

“We’re lucky to be embarking on a collaboration with Arlington Entrepreneurs to raise the level of quality of the Evening Group experience; I’m excited at the prospect of getting to know and finding ways to help small-business people in the Arlington area.”

Judith Pfeffer, a seasoned researcher, writer and marketer, participates in both Arlington Entrepreneurs and Job Club. Visit Judith’s LinkedIn page for more information at