Networking 101

All too often these days young professionals, and you know who you are, are blatantly asking new acquaintances for job leads.  What agency will be there?  What agencies are looking to hire?  At a recent Marketing/advertising/Finance meet-up in New York City, those statements were posted on the home page long before the actual get together was taking place. What?

I responded to the poster that they need to attend meetings, get to know people and offer their expertise however light it maybe then ask for networking leads and not job openings.  Yes they responded well to my declarative statement and I did meet a couple of those people who did come to the meet-up.  Another YP (young professional poster) didn’t come when they found out not enough of the “agency” folk were attending.

YP’s please keep the following 5 steps to Networking in mind for future events, outreach.

1.  Not everyone at the Meet-up, networking professional association, event, is there to job search, some people actually come for social reasons so your direct “What jobs do you have for me?” Will be met on deaf ears.

2. Professionals, and that is what you are ascribing to be,  introduce themselves in person first and promote their elevator speech.  For example: “I’m Jeff and work in financial private equity.  I’m looking to transition to investor relations, might you have any advice for me?”

3.  Not everyone you meet and give your elevator speech too will be able to help you and in fact most will not. There is the chain of networking that is the excellent center of networking – to be able to refer you on to someone who someone knows who might be the right contact for the kind of work, clients, contractor, financial rep, etc. that you are looking for.

4. Present yourself as the professional you want to beNetworking is a two-way street.  If your speech is all about you – you will be limiting your goals and expectations.

5.  Learn to listen.  As the fellow you meet is speaking about themselves take note to ask their interests and see if you might have anything to offer them – other than yourself working for them.  You have neighbors, colleagues, alums from the school’s you went to.  Social Media is a great way to start those connections.

If you don’t have a #Twitter, #LinkedIn or #Facebook account you’re probably not a young professional!  Many people are shy at first to ask for a connection on LinkedIn but the person can only say no, or delay replying for months. Ha! Ha! Not that it happens too often ;0)

So have the elevator pitch on hand,  but first don’t forget to say Hello, and shake their hand and listen at your next networking event!

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Happy Holidays! You have more cancer… (Original post 11/10)

  Not really the greeting anyone wants to hear.  Anytime of the year bad news hurts.  It concerns, it worries, it makes people breathe less, bite their nails, become silent, sleep less, exercise more or less and overall stresses.  When it comes to holiday time and by that I do mean between Thanksgiving and Christmas time of year it stings all the more.  Why?  Well, it is Holiday time!  You know, the joyful time of year that is made  of eating, cooking, family and joy on abundance.  No one has the perfect plan, the perfect meal or the perfect family in retrospect but at Holiday time we are all supposed to.  That is stressful enough in and of itself but when you get a bad diagnosis, it brings you down to the ground all that much faster.

Recently my dad got this bad news.  Why now?  Why this time of year which seems to emphasize the emotional side of it all so much more?  It isn’t my calendar or my wishes and the lack of control over such things is part of the difficulty in dealing with it.  If I were to plan such things, this would happen just after his birthday in April, spring time.  Why?  The weather would be warming up, the landscape a little more enjoyable to view and take in.  What is that saying, ” Now is the winter of our discontent”, a famous literary phrase.  Seems apropos in this instance.  What comes next?  Some more tests, diagnosis, and perhaps a treatment.  Everyone must face their ending at sometime on this earth.  How to deal effectively, positively and with faith is the challenge.  All one can do is prepare as much upfront as possible before the final diagnosis is given.  You want to leave a strong foundation and reputation if you care at all about your legacy. 82 years is nothing to sneeze at, in fact it is something to be glad of.  You should be proactive about your own health care and if you don’t get answers or the right care from any physician, move on, find one you can easily talk to and most importantly trust with your life.  Trust should be earned and not given freely.  If you find an untrustworthy physician and you feel you are being taken advantage of – speak up, complain, and let those who are in authority over them know what has transpired.

Happy Holidays!  Not really. But, we can still take in the joy and peace of the present, before the future arrives.  There is peace in the present and memories still to be made and enjoyed and that in itself can be a Holiday.

(My dad passed away three weeks after I wrote this two years ago.  He had Hospice care.  We never knew how long  he had but I certainly didn’t expect 3 weeks.  They are some of the most amazing people you will ever meet those in Hospice care.  For anyone going through serious illnesses at Christmas or Holiday time, I can relate and hope that this post resonates empathy with you.)