Bernadette Boas <bernadette.boas@...>
Tom, Validas and others,
I know I am late to this discussion, but having just gone through some experiences lately, I thought I would share:
I agree that many people, employed and unemployed, do not build a network, and work that network , while they have a job, or when they do not. And why not, even when you have a job a network is key to new projects, challenges and opportunities, even new jobs.
Though I just started my own business, I spent the first part of the year with an Outplacement Group, that did a fantastic job in training, coaching and teaching how to network a room, gather key information and contacts from current and new acquaintances and sources, and how to leverage all of that new found network in your job search, promotion, etc. Some of their pointers were:
- Stressed that the best time to look for a job was when you have a job – therefore building, maintaining and enhancing your network is critical
- Held “Working the Room” networking training sessions using mock scenarios for making introductions, asking the right questions, and closing for a valuable contact or source name
- Stressed that people should not position their networking discussions as ‘job search’, but more so information gathering sessions to collect ideas, suggestions and guidance from the individual, vs. wanting to know something about a job.
o This concept was the key piece to the issue; current networks do not have new information to share.
§ They absolutely do, but since they know you so well, and ‘the hunt for a job opening’ is the usual thing someone is asking for when ‘must do networking’, their mind gets turned off to new ideas, what they are thinking is “oh gosh, I do not know of any job openings or have any’
§ I have learned and it is preached, everyone wants to help you, therefore be sure to ask and position what it is you may need properly, so they can.
o Instead, use every networking activity as ‘information gathering’, collecting ideas, suggestions and guidance from new folks, and especially from your current long standing network. When requesting time with someone; tell them that “I want to gather your ideas, suggestions and guidance” that will support my networking activities…..and you will be amazed at how many contacts and new ideas they will share.
§ I have significant proof that this approach works, as my current network was and is key to my ability to find opportunities, projects and clients.
o And again, as Valdis said below, none of us can look at networking as a temporary short term thing. We never know what is going to happen; good or bad, we need to work and grow our network for any of it that may occur.
o Pay Forward – in the last several months, I have focused a good amount of time on helping others find jobs, leads and contacts; even before I was provided any. I have found that paying forward and helping others, has a 2-3 time return back, of contacts, leads and opportunities. When people see that you are helping others and opening your network to them, they work really hard to help you.:)
One last thing: there is great debates on whether size of networks, and ensuring all are quality contacts for you, is a critical element for successful networks. I too have learned that a not so quality contact may not be useful to me today, but down the road, they could be. Therefore, unless someone is completely harmful to your network, add them. You never know when you can use them. And again, I have found 1-2 instances of that happening with me.
I hope that is useful.
The Boas Group
“Driving Change, Delivering You Results”
sikmleaders@... [mailto:sikmleaders@...] On Behalf
Of Valdis Krebs
On Jun 10, 2008, at 4:40 PM, Tom Short wrote:
> Now I find myself
> wondering how many of the job search agencies are aware of these
> findings, and incorporate the conclusions into their "how to"
> materials on networking for job seekers. I haven't seen anything
> about "weak ties" being so valuable. Interesting!