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 https://www.linkedin.com/in/judithpfeffer/

 

Reflections of an Arlington Entrepreneur: Laura Bergamini

In this new interview series, we meet our Arlington Entrepreneurs Premium members. Get to know Laura Bergamini of Langzone.

 

Tell us about your business.  Who do you serve? What difference do you make for your clients or customers?

After working as an in-house translator for a large multinational company for a couple of years, I decided to start my own business. That was 1991, the year my daughter was born, and I’ve been at it every since.

As a native Italian speaker, I have been providing localization services for over 25 years from my Arlington home office. Localization encompasses not only a simple process of translating content from one language to the other, but rather a whole gamut of issues relating to cultural adaptation, transcription, and at times, straight recreation of culturally-appropriate texts.

Serving diversified clients – software/hardware development, manufacturing, engineering, medical and pharmaceutical, life science, food & beverage, automotive, just to name a few – I provide written translations of English materials meant for the Italian market, and I have built a tight network of translators in other language combinations, thoroughly vetted and with many decades of combined experience. This has allowed me to work with direct clients, bypassing translation agencies, to provide highly customizable services and build long-lasting relationships. Advantages for clients are: cost transparency, higher quality and better pricing (no middle-man taking a cut), faster turnaround times.

What’s your next major business goal?

My major business goal, looking ahead, is to expand my services by providing training and workshops to companies who have their own in-house localization teams on the use of specific tools to increase output without sacrificing quality.

Why are you a member of Arlington Entrepreneurs?

I became a member of AE as a means to give back to the community where I’ve lived for most of my professional life. As a self-employed professional who works at home, I often feel isolated and lack social opportunities in a business context. I think I have something to offer to the community of local entrepreneurs, but I also have a lot to gain from other professionals’ experiences and perspectives.

What advice or tips would you like to share with other Arlington Entrepreneurs?

Get involved in your local community – you have nothing to lose but a lot to gain! Participate in events, expand your skills by learning from other professionals, or find people to offload tasks you are not good at (case in point: bookkeeping). Share your knowledge by giving a seminar or a workshop, it’s a great way to expand your customer base and be known in your community.

How can we learn more about what you do?

By visiting my websites: www.ital10n.com and www.langzone.com

Would you like to be featured on the Arlington Entrepreneurs website? These profiles are just one of many benefits of Arlington Entrepreneurs Premium membership.  Learn more at  http://arlingtonentrepreneurs.org/membership-has-its-privileges/

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