RE:FOCUS ON CAREERS, the premier networking organization dedicated to helping professionals enhance their careers, was founded in January 2005.
The organization's story began in September 2003 when it's Executive Director, Debbie Rodkin, lost her job. The next morning, Debbie applied for unemployment with the Georgia Department of Labor, then drove to a restaurant and was hired on the spot as a server. Remembering how much fun working in restaurants had
Debbie called two friends who had experienced unemployment over the years--Ed invited her to volunteer at Project Open Hand, and Gary told her about different networking meetings in metro-Atlanta. And a schedule was set. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings were for networking meetings. Tuesday and Thursday mornings were for volunteering. Evenings were filled with other networking events, and early afternoons and late evenings were saved for scouring the job boards. (Phew--Debbie found that job seeking was more hectic than a full-time job!)
During her job search, Debbie made a point to always bring something to each meeting she attended--whether it was a job opportunity to share with her fellow job seekers, or information about upcoming networking or volunteer opportunities. By always offering something to others, Debbie quickly learned that the others were interested in meeting her and wanted to help her find the right position too! Hmmm...there certainly was something about this networking--it worked!
And in December an ideal job description came her way! It was for a part-time position for planning and organizing events, networking, and faciliating meetings. It described Debbie's passions perfectly--and she couldn't wait to learn more about the company (and find out how to make it a full-time job, rather than a part-time gig).
The company, a national networking organization based in California called The Layoff Lounge was looking for a part-time city director in Atlanta. Debbie had heard about their events from Gary, but since she had never attended before, she made it a point to attend the January and February events to get a better feel for the organization and way the meetings were run. She met the 35 attendees at each meeting, and spoke to the current City Director who was leaving due to a hectic work schedule at her full time job.
Debbie took over the networking group and was thrilled when over 70 professionals attended her first event in March 2003! Over 90 attended April 2003, and the organization continued to flourish and grow its membership.
Fast forward to December 2004, and since Atlanta was the only active city at the time, The Layoff Lounge closed its doors when its CEO, Kelly Perdew, was hired by Donald Trump during the second season of The Apprentice.
After numerous requests to continue assisting the public, Debbie founded RE:FOCUS ON CAREERS. She has successfully grown this organization to over 12,000 members across the nation, speaking to audiences and facilitating events in multiple states, and is proud to say that 85% of her members (and attendees at events) are EMPLOYED!
We hope that you find RE:FOCUS ON CAREERS beneficial, and continue to attend our networking events...and bring other professionals to join us!