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Our Community
Career Networking Group (CNG) Austin serves people who have experienced job loss or who are in a career transition. We welcome all to join us for support and practical job search tools. Our team of volunteers includes recruiters, hiring managers and a certified career coach who provide up-to-date training in resumes and LinkedIn. The CNG community provides insight and inspiration for navigating a modern job search. We are supported by Austin Ridge Bible Church.
Our Team
Susan B. Smalling, M.D.
Chris Baxter Jones

Don, a retired financial executive and former Dell CFO, understands the challenges of unemployment. In the prime of his career, he thought he'd rebound quickly after a job loss. Instead, he found himself still searching 364 days later. He shares the miracle of his 365th day to help CNG members keep the faith during job searches that last longer than they expected.

A retired physician, Susan demonstrates a gift for communicating professional expertise effectively in less than 30 seconds - what career pros commonly call the elevator pitch. In 25 years working as an anesthesiologist, she developed the skill of quickly communicating competence in order to reassure patients she met just a few minutes before providing anesthesia for their surgery. Now, Susan trains CNG members how to confidently communicate their professional experience during networking and interview conversations.

Chris, a founding partner of Planwise Financial Group, spent the early days of his career knocking on doors. First, he sold office equipment, then quickly moved to selling financial products at a bank, launching a career as a wealth manager. Today, he helps families and small business solve their most complex financial challenges. Needless to say, he's not afraid to make a connection or a phone call. He serves as CNG's resident expert in relationship building.

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Certified Career Writer
Kara D. Bell
Other CNG Volunteers
Recruiters & Mentors

Kara started writing resumes just after college. However, it took a challenging job search of her own to show her that a successful search demands more than a well-written resume. Desperately needing employment in the middle of the 2008 recession, Kara faced the added challenges of being a just-divorced stay-at-home mom of 3. She hadn't worked outside the home in 10 years and lacked professional connections and confidence. With the help of mentors, she pushed through these obstacles to find roles in finance and education. Now, she works as as certified career storytelling coach and teaches CNG members to develop logical, compelling career stories that connect with recruiters and hiring managers.

CNG is blessed with a team of volunteers who provide support in and out of Thursday mornings. Hiring managers, recruiters and professional career coaches visit us to speak on a variety of job search topics. Additionally, we have a team of accountability coaches who provide weekly small group support through the ups and downs of job searching. The church has a care team ministry to help people undergoing significant life challenges, as well as volunteers who provide coaching on managing finances during a crises. Finally, CNG graduates are a great source of support for informational interviews and networking.

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