Thursday, March 20, 2014

Networking With Grace and Ease - Part 2

In part 1 of Networking With Grace and Ease, I shared some networking questions that can be door openers and relationship starters.  Since networking boils down to relationships, how can job seekers move from an initial meeting to developing a collegial dynamic?

First, it's important to nurture your relationship with members of your network.  Remember, it’s incumbent upon you (not them) to do this. This is the chance to also be of service (see first three examples below). Track your contacts, striving to reach out every few weeks or so.  Here are some ideas for connecting in a positive and professional way:

  • Send an email with an interesting article about something of interest to your contact.
  • Send an update about a professional association he/she has mentioned.
  •  Follow up on something you said you would do (ex:  As promised, here is the contact information to the publishing consultant I mentioned.  I’ve contacted him and he’s happy to answer those technical questions you had. He suggested that you mention my name when you call.  Best wishes!).
  •  Send an email about what you’ve been doing (ex:  I wanted to reach out and let you know that I did research on the conference you mentioned and am going to attend. Are you planning on participating?).
  •  Make a phone call. No worries about reaching an answering machine. In fact, with people being so busy, the answering machine can be your friend --  leave a quick message. “Hi Sally.  It’s Cathy Jones.  I thought I might catch you…I’m just calling to touch base and find out how things are going.  Last time we spoke/emailed, you mentioned you were presenting at a conference and I was interested in hearing about it.  I’ll touch base with you in a few weeks again, so no worries about calling back.  Hope all is well!  Bye!."
  •  React to news (press release, LinkedIn update, industry news) via email:  Kathy, Congratulations on your new position.  How wonderful it was to read about it in ______. Best wishes for continued success!  All the best, Patti.
  •  Reach out via phone or email re: meeting for coffee or lunch.  “I’m going to be in your area on ____ and wondered if you’re available for coffee or lunch.  It would be nice to catch up and hear how things are going for you.  Let me know…. Best, Janice."

As you develop relationships and build your network, you may receive requests...and you can also make requests such as “Would you consider giving me feedback on my resume?  I value your judgment and would be most appreciative on any suggestions you might have.”  OR  “I’m applying for jobs in the _______ field at ______ and ________ companies.  If you hear of any openings, I’d be so appreciative if you’d pass my name along.” 

This is quite different from sending out your resume to all of your contacts and asking for a job, nor is it putting someone on the spot – neither of which are effective strategies.  Rather, this is a thoughtful and considered strategy that when used appropriately (and sparingly) can be quite effective.

BOTTOM LINE

As you network and apply your job search strategy consistently and mindfully, remember that it all boils down to a few principles:

Be genuine. 

Be authentic. 

Be of service.   

Be thoughtful. 

BE YOU! 

1 comment:

Linda Lovero-Waterhouse said...

I really appreciate the examples, Carol. Something concrete to use really helps.