Cool workshops and courses

Six classes to build your career skills and help you get a job.

The Five O'Clock Club
According to the Five O'Clock Club, the job hunt involves more than simply casting around for a position. This national career-coaching company believes that the search takes work—serious work. To that end, its weekly meetings offer an hour-long lecture related to a relevant career-building topic, followed by a second hour of coach-facilitated small-group work. Every person leaves with a job strategy or assignment to complete for the week. "This way, you are accountable to the group," says David Madison, director of the organization's coaches. "You don't wake up on Tuesday morning and think, What am I going to do today? I'll paint the bedroom instead of pursuing my job hunt. The group told you what you are going to do; they gave you your assignment." Roosevelt Hotel, 45 E 45th St between Madison and Vanderbilt Aves. Mon 6:30--8:30pm. * 11 Penn Plaza, Seventh Ave between 31st and 32nd Sts. Wed 6:30--8:30pm. * (212-286-4500, Five sessions $250 plus membership fee $49.

French Culinary Institute
You don't have to go all the way to France to get a tutorial in fine cooking. The French Culinary Institute offers classes to chefs of all skill levels, including Pizza 101 for Future Chefs and a basic sushi course taught by chef Hiroko Shimbo. Become a certified chef, or just satisfy your urge to spend all day cooking. 462 Broadway between Broome and Grand Sts (888-324-2433, Class dates and prices vary.

Glocap Search M.B.A. application courses
"An MBA has become recognized as a prerequisite to advance in a lot of careers," says Ruthanne Feinberg, managing director and head of HR practice at recruiting firm Glocap Search. Glocap specializes in recruiting for M.B.A.-heavy industries: investment banking, consulting, hedge funds, private equity funds—all that good stuff. However, as few as 10 percent of all applicants get into the top business schools. Discouraged? Don't be. While M.B.A. programs are competitive, that just means you have to step up your own game. Glocap's workshops, "MBA Admissions Strategies," dissects the actual application, addresses common pitfalls and divulges some of the secret ingredients of a good application. Glocap Search, 156 W 56th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves, fourth floor (212-333-6400). Visit for info about upcoming workshops; each session $25.

International Center of Photography
ICP offers continuing-education programs for every level, from beginner to pro levels. "We have classes for people who just got a digital camera and are trying to figure it out, and classes for professionals who are looking to build their skill set and portfolio," says Kathryn Kuczynski, an education assistant at ICP. The courses are taught by professional, as well as working photographers in various industries (including video, fashion and travel), and range from a onetime workshop to a ten-week session. 1114 Sixth Ave between 42nd and 43rd Sts (212-857-0001, Class dates and prices vary. Registration for fall classes begins August 3.

SixFigureStart Coaching Gym online workshop
Founded by former Fortune 500 recruiters Connie Thanasoulis-Cerrachio and Caroline Ceniza-Levine, SixFigureStart is a career-coaching company that offers an accessible twist: audio Web seminars on the first three Tuesdays of each month, during which the duo addresses relevant job-search skills (e.g., networking, how to quit a job without burning bridges), and then hosts a Q&A for whoever's watching. "The open question-and-answer period at the end was my favorite part," says Hannah Mitchell, 41, who participated in the group coaching sessions for nearly 15 months before landing a job at a business newspaper in North Carolina. "It gives the participants the chance to ask anything and to get a little bit of one-on-one coaching." Along with the weekly chats, Thanasoulis and Ceniza-Levine offer other online workshops, some of which are available at no charge if you sign up for their newsletter, which is also free. (212-501-2234, Tue noon; six months access $300, first week free.

Stamboulie Career Consulting weekly job-search group
Sarah Stamboulie understands how how to lower the stress of looking for a job: breakfast. Her weekly workshop kicks off with bagels, muffins, fresh fruit, yogurt, orange juice and coffee, before adopting a lablike for analyzing the whole get-a-gig process. "We really utilize the group setting," says Stamboulie, former head of career services at Columbia Business School. "The participants can learn from and motivate each other in a way that is unique to groups." Topics include sourcing contacts, interview preparation, salary and raise negotiation, and perhaps most important, tapping the hidden job market (i.e., gigs that aren't officially posted or that are handled by recruiters). The group also offers an immediate source of networking: itself. Stamboulie starts every meeting by asking everyone to talk about the types of people they are looking to get in contact with. "Details, details, details," she says. "You never know who knows someone." Stamboulie Career Consulting, 313 W 22nd St between Eighth and Ninth Aves, suite 2C (212-206-9929, Tue 10am--noon, breakfast 9:30am; $60. Reservations required.