Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hidden Job Market

I attended the monthly meeting of ETP Network and heard Carl Reid speak about the hidden job market. Despite what people are saying about the economy and the current job market, new jobs are opening up every day. Many companies are hiring people through employee referrals so they have a recommendation about a candidate. Companies are also trying to alleviate the large number of applications that they are receiving for a particular position.

You tap into this hidden job market through the relationships that you develop. It's important to keep in touch with people on a regular basis whether it be bi-weekly, monthly or quarterly so that you stay in the minds of people and to maintain a mutually beneficial relationship. With all of the networking and busy schedules that people have today, it's more important than ever to stay connected.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Should I Continue to Network During the Holiday Season?

This question has come up quite a few times lately and in my opinion I think it's an excellent time to network. Many people are busy attending holiday parties and what better way to meet new and interesting contacts. With such a festive mindset this month, I think that people will be even more apt to provide valuable feedback that can help your job search or make that important introduction.

Whether the holiday event is with friends, family or acquaintances, there are going to be people who have some great ideas. Why limit your search to just people in your own industry? I've spoken with quite a few people lately who are learning the benefits of networking with various industries.

A friend recently told me that she met an individual from a company and was hoping to stay connected with him. I mentioned that in the past I have sent holiday cards to people I was hoping to hear back from with regard to a position I was interested in. What better way to stay in touch?

Happy Holiday!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Staying Connected

It's really important to stay connected with people especially when in transition. It can be as simple as meeting with some friends or like minded people weekly, every other week or even monthly. It gets you out of the house and keeps you motivated and focused. Sometimes when you're not on a regular schedule, you can lose focus and not be as productive as you could be.

I try to meet with a few people that I meet each week. If you meet at an event, invite a few of these people to get together. It's amazing how different ideas pop up that might lead you in a direction you never even thought of. It also helps with accountability as you share your progress. It's motivating for you as well as the group.

There are many formal groups out there such as and BNI and these are also good resources. They usually meet weekly and you get to know people as you hear their pitch. It also gives you some practice speaking in front of a group and perfecting your pitch.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

What Kind of Networker Are You?

What kind of networker are you? There are many types of networkers and the goal to networking is to develop relationships that are mutually beneficial with people who can offer you advice and help both personally and professionally. The main thing to remember is that you have to give to get. Most people are happy to share their ideas and expertise with the hope of helping you achieve a goal, and these same people find it refreshing when you ask them how you can help them.

You don't want to be the networker who goes out just to collect business cards or focus only on what you want to get out of the meeting. The world is a much smaller place than you know and word gets out quickly when someone is only out to pursue their own interests. I think it's important to get to know someone's character and business practices before you make an introduction on their behalf.

Are you the type of networker that only focuses on people from a certain profession or experience level? My experience is that everyone has something to offer. Since being in transition, I have met people in many different industries with various amounts of experience, and I have learned some valuable information from each person I met.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What's Your Pitch?

Being in transition, I seem to be making my pitch to a lot of people in many different industries these days. I keep hearing how important it is to have a pitch ready to go when you meet new people, interview for jobs or meet Donald Trump in the elevator if that's who you are targeting to meet. As I speak with more and more people, I realize how important the pitch really is. It keeps you focused, gets to the point and serves as an effective tool to market your experience and knowledge. I think a pitch of up to two minutes will be effective and keep you on people's radar. If it's longer than that you might start losing people's attention.

I attended a job search event recently and met a few people who could really benefit from having their pitch down pat. When asked by the organizer about what they did and what they wanted to get from the session most people tended to share a bit more information and elaborated a little longer than they could have. I like to treat these events as a chance to practice my pitch, gain more insight and to make any improvements.

At another recent event and early enough before many people arrived a few of us started doing our pitch. I think some of the people hadn't thought about their pitch before or maybe just saved it for a more formal business event. As we started going around the room, the energy level and enthusiasm suddenly increased. It's also a good ice breaker.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Keeping the Momentum

Just got back from two morning meetings. The first was a seminar on interviewing and the second a ladies business networking luncheon.

At the first meeting, I learned the importance of doing your homework before an interview, utilizing your network for research as well as continuing to reach out and meeting new people. It's a tough job market but there are always companies interested in hearing from and hiring capable people who are going to add value. Keep your business and calling cards handy so you can exchange contact information with people you meet along the way. It's always good to follow up by email, phone or most importantly in person. There's a lot you can glean from a face to face meeting. I think this is the most effective way of creating a win-win situation for both parties.

The second meeting was a luncheon filled with inspiring and ambitious ladies who are entrepreneurs and executives. Many of these ladies have changed careers a number of times and continue to seek new opportunities to pursue their passions. What's amazing is how many of these ladies find the time to pursue busy careers, raise a family, get involved in charities that are meaningful to them as well as pursue creative hobbies that inspire many others. The organizer of the group commented on the energy and inspiration she felt in the room and all in attendance agreed. It's really great to interact with positive and focused individuals to keep the momentum going.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Transitional Relationships

It's important to keep a network of people who are supportive and who can share and inspire you during a time of transition. I think the first thought you think after a position ends is how do I keep myself busy and how can I stay connected. This is a very natural way of thinking because if you worked outside of the home, you likely had interactions with many different people. It's also likely that you developed friendships with some of these people. It's good to keep in touch and up to date on what the company is up to especially if they might be hiring back when things improve or reorganizing into a different company. It is important however to take some time to think about what just happened and what your plan of action is.

It's good to reach out to family, friends and acquaintenances to let them know your situation. They might have some good advice or know of another position. I have found that a lot of people who are not in your current position will offer any help possible but will not be able to completely relate until and unless they are in a similar situation. This will be true for most of your relationships.

That's why it's good to reach out to different groups such as networking and volunteer opportunities where you can meet people who can offer you advice because they are going through the very same thing. The important thing is to stay focused on what you need to do to secure your next position.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Take Action or Stay with the Status Quo

Dealing with a stressful situation whether personal or professional can either stop you in your tracks or propel you into action. It's important to take a step back from the situation to identify the problem and then come up with an action plan for the steps you are going to take. I think it's easier to just go along without addressing the problem but it takes strength to actually do something about it.

Once I identify a problem I find it helpful to think back to a time when a similar situation occurred and how I resolved that problem. Another way is to speak with a trusted friend or to read a book or article on the subject. The important thing is to take action. You'd be surprised how even small steps lead to complete resolution of the problem.