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.