‘Game show’ to aid unemployed
Innsbrook event designed to boost skills, prospects
The answer is: Prospective employees and potential employers.
The question is: Who stands to benefit from the super-sized board game being held in Innsbrook this month?
On Jan. 26, a former corporate sales trainer who lost her job is bringing a unique game to The Virginia Employment Transition Center.
In the 18 months since her former company folded, Kay Taylor of Glen Allen has developed “Winning the Training Game,” an oversized board game and interactive corporate training tool useful for team building and polishing skills.
Judges for the game will be hiring managers, recruiters and senior leaders from Richmond-area companies – and the players will be job-hunters hoping to catch their eye.
Posing such open-ended questions as “What are three ways to calm down an angry customer?” or “Give two examples of how might you establish rapport during a networking event,” the game provides participants with the opportunity to stand out as an individual -- while engaging players on teams so that no one is on the spot.
The game resembles a resume come to life, says Taylor, as judges observe how people interact with others and think on their feet.
“When you’re unemployed, you want to make yourself stand out from the masses,” says Taylor. “As an employer, you want to see something beyond a resume to help you determine if that person is a good fit for your business.”
‘Jeopardy’ for job-hunters
The game, which includes a large tabletop board, oversized dice, playing pieces, play money and question cards, is played with up to 12 people working together in teams. The judges run the game, ask the questions, and award game dollars for answers; the team with the most dollars at the end wins.
Based on Taylor’s 20 years of sales training experience, the game was designed as a tool for teaching sales skills to professionals. By teaching professionals how to handle objections, stay motivated and work in teams to reach goals, the game helps hone their communication skills and build confidence at the same time.
Taylor says she got the idea for the game from her own practice of using game-show-style experiences in corporate training.
“When I did a day of training,” she says, “I ended the day with something fun, such as my own version of ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ or ‘Jeopardy.’”
The Jan. 26 event will also include a networking hour at which attendees can mingle and share their contact information with the local business and government leaders who will act as judges.
Among the organizations sponsoring the Taylor event is Career Prospectors, an organization that helps job seekers and students navigate career transition. Founded in 2002 by Charlie Wood, president of Attributes For Success, the all-volunteer group has more than 1,000 members who attend weekly meetings and learn from presentations by community leaders, recruiters, career coaches and business owners.
“Hundreds of those members have found jobs,” says Wood, “yet they remain in the network to support other job seekers with information, contacts, leads, and job postings.”
With core program topics that include networking, self-marketing, elevator pitches, staying positive and helping others, the Career Prospectors group is not only well-suited as a sponsor of the Kay Taylor event, but as a “pre-season” warm-up venue. At a December meeting of the group, the program featured a preparation class that allowed job-seekers to play practice rounds of “Winning the Training Game” and benefit from expert critiques prior to “the big game.”
“A critical benefit,” says Wood of the group, “is the support and encouragement we provide each other throughout the job search.”
As one member notes on the website, networking is not just about collecting contacts; it’s also about garnering that valuable but oft-overlooked bonus of positive feedback.
“The Career Prospectors group helped me to get a shot in the arm,” wrote the member, “right when I needed it.”
With any luck, the Jan. 26 event will also provide a shot in the arm for local job-seekers and employers – not to mention another successful showcase of a game that appears to be on the path to international recognition.
After market testing her game, Taylor launched it last spring at a gathering of the American Society for Training and Development – and sold the sample before she left the site.
Now she has customized the 130-question game for business-to-business, automotive, insurance, distribution, real estate and customer service niches, and is marketing the game internationally. The set also includes 30 blank cards so that individual businesses can write their own questions and answers and create a specialized training tool.
What’s more, Taylor has applied for the Donald Trump television show, “The Apprentice” – and even though she missed the deadline for consideration for the recent season, Trump producers have shown interest and are still in touch.
If a recent board game event held at the Jobs Assistance Ministry is any indication, local job-hunters will meet with success as well. The JAM event in August resulted in three direct hires, in addition to abundant opportunities for prospective hires to interact with employers, both at the meeting and afterwards.
At any rate, says Taylor, the Innsbrook game show event is sure to be fun, lively, and educational.
“People get really caught up in the game and their energy comes through.”
The “Winning the Training Game” networking event, sponsored jointly by R. Rushton Paul Consulting, LLC and Career Prospectors, JAM, Virginia Career Network, the Henrico Employment Transition Center, and Kay Taylor, will take place from 4 - 6 p.m. Jan. 26 at the Virginia Employment Transition Center at 4060 Innslake Drive. The event is free and open to all, but participants MUST register in advance with a participating group (Career Prospectors, The Virginia Employment Transition Center at Innsbrook, St. Michaels-Jobs Assistance Ministry, Capital Area Workforce Center or Virginia Career Network) to take part in the live event. Registration is also available at meetup.com/Employment-Transition-Center-at-Innsbrook or by calling Kevin Dumville at 366-2610.
Career Prospectors meets Tuesday mornings at Three Chopt Presbyterian Church, 9315 Three Chopt Road. There is no cost to join or attend. Meetings begin with coffee and networking at 7:30 a.m. and programs run from 8 - 9:30 a.m. For information call Charlie Wood at 360-0335 or visit career-prospectors.com.
For information about Kay Taylor visit http://winningthesellinggame.com .
Richmonders Jim Morgan and Dan Stackhouse were married at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Lakeside Mar. 7 month after winning the Say I Do! With OutRVA wedding contest in February. The contest was open to LGBT couples in recognition of Virginia’s marriage equality law, which took effect last fall. The wedding included a package valued at $25,000.
Morgan and Stackhouse, who became engaged last fall on the day marriage equality became the law in Virginia, have been together for 16 years. They were selected from among 40 couples who registered for the contest. The winners were announced at the Say I Do! Dessert Soiree at the Renaissance in Richmond in February. > Read more.
The Fourth Annual Healy Gala will be held Saturday, Apr. 11, at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
The event was created to honor Michael Healy, a local businessman and community leader who died suddenly in June 2011, and to endow the Mike Healy Scholarship (through the Glen Allen Ruritan Club), which benefits students of Glen Allen High School.
Healy served as the chairman of Glen Allen Day for several years and helped raise thousands of dollars for local charities and organizations. > Read more.
The Richmond Battlefield Ruritan Club is holding a Brunswick stew sale, with orders accepted through March 13 and pick-up available March 14. The cost is $8 per quart.
Pick-up will be at noon, March 14, at the Richmond Heights Civic Center, 7440 Wilton Road in Varina.
To place an order, call Mike at (804) 795- 7327 or Jim at (804) 795-9116. > Read more.
Disney’s no-frills, live-action ‘Cinderella’ delights
Cinderella is the latest from Disney’s new moviemaking battle plan: producing live-action adaptations of all their older classics. Which is a plan that’s had questionable results in the past.
Alice in Wonderland bloated with more Tim Burton goth-pop than the inside of a Hot Topic. Maleficent was a step in the right direction, but the movie couldn’t decide if Maleficent should be a hero or a villain (even if she should obviously be a villain) and muddled itself into mediocrity.
Cinderella is much better. Primarily, because it’s just Cinderella. No radical rebooting. No Tim Burton dreck. It’s the 1950 Disney masterpiece, transposed into live action and left almost entirely untouched. > Read more.
The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen’s 2nd Stage series will present “An Evening of Country” with The Honky Tonk Experience, April 9-10 at 7 p.m. in the center’s Cardinal Ballroom.
Formed in the spring of 2003, The Honky Tonk Experience performs country classics and current country music, from Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings to Dwight Yoakam and Dale Watson. The “Experience” is composed of five local musicians – Brad Spivey, Mike Lucas, Mark Watts, Clark Ball and Ryland Tinnell. The group has shared the stage with several national acts, including Travis Tritt, BR5-49, Dale Watson, Webb Wilder and Junior Brown. > Read more.
Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health. > Read more.
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