Networking Your Network

networking-300x19980% of jobs are found through networking your network

Whether or not you are currently engaged in a job search, networking is a fundamental activity that should be embraced for numerous reasons. With time at a premium for most working adults, adding more to an already full schedule may feel like another obligation. It’s true that unless there is a clear intention and purpose, attending an event with a general notion of making contacts is unrealistic. It requires a plan and a purpose.

We recommend the 3-3-3 approach as a minimum goal for any event:

1. Choose a minimum of 3 people to connect with more than superficially. Listen. How might you help them?
2. Collect 3-business cards from people you spent time talking to.
3. Call within 3-business days and follow up with another time to meet.
Networking doesn’t always mean carving out hours to connect and make introductions. Technology has created unlimited opportunity to reach out on LinkedIn, Facebook, Classmates, alumni and special interest groups along with many other sites. You can renew relationships with former colleagues, research new interests or connect with people who are doing interesting things.  Joining organizations that are not related to your area of expertise brings you into contact with new people, who don’t know you as (fill in the blank). This is especially helpful in a transition period where you may be looking at a career change. Attend an industry function as a guest to see if that demographic is a good fit. An added bonus is learning more about aeronautics, public relations, marketing or perhaps community theater.  Be curious! You never know how you may be a resource for someone else and likewise, how you can develop broader connections and learn something new in the process.

Are You Passionate or Curious?

questionsThe oft repeated mantra to clients in transition had been to seek out their passion, follow it and the money will somehow be manifested. If only life could be so well orchestrated that your deepest desires and interests would also provide a reliable stream of income. While anything is possible, and ideally the work you do will in great part be congruent with your values, skills and interests, how does passion play a role and what about curiosity? How are they connected?

“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” – Albert Einstein

Is it the chicken and egg question, also referred to as the causality dilemma? The latter refers to the relationship between an event (the cause) and a second event (the effect), where the second event is a consequence of the first.

If you are curious by nature, are you likely to be more engaged in collecting information and learning new things? How long will your interest be sustained beyond the superficial unless there is more to maintain your attention? Some people are serially occupied by learning and satisfied to become knowledgeable about many things. In bygone times when we actually visited bookstores, did you wander everywhere or tend to gravitate towards particular areas? The same can be said for on-line sites. Do you jump around regularly or become more expert with specific sites for learning new information?

Remember the early days of a relationship, whether platonic or romantic, and not knowing if it could develop into something more? That excitement may have turned into passion, and deepened, or flamed out. In the workplace you may have been attracted to an industry or called to a profession because you were passionate about its values or the impact you could make.

Passion is an exciting emotion and it feeds us. Curiosity relates to an eagerness to know more about something or to get information. Inquisitiveness may lead you beyond the initial burst of enthusiasm or it can actually be the accelerant that fans the flames of passion. Curiosity expands our world, leads to great discoveries and engenders passion in many forms. Both are inextricably connected but when the passion wanes the inquiring mind may provide another way to retain the spark and focus on new directions with abandon to become, like Einstein, passionately curious.


5-Tips for Career Changers

binoculars1. Look at the issues that make you crave change and outline your goals
What are you satisfied with about your current situation? What are you dissatisfied with? Is it your boss or the culture of your organization? Or do you really want to change careers? Outline your goals- for example, more money, more time off or more flexibility. Write it all down.

2. Work to understand your inner critic
Observe thoughts that trap you with fear and prevent you from achieving your objectives. Write these down on a piece of paper, then crumple it up and throw it away to symbolize your freedom from thoughts that interfere with your goals and dreams.

3. Recognize recurring patterns in your life
What makes you happy? What are your recurring interests and social needs? What makes a work environment feel good or not so good to you? Write it down.

4. Network and investigate career interests that map to your goals and needs
Once you’ve identified your patterns and desires, start thinking about careers that make sense for you. Give yourself one to three months to explore your curiosity by finding people who do these jobs and talking about the pros and cons of their work. Explore anything and everything until you’re satisfied — or until your time runs out.

5. Make a plan that takes your financial situation into account
Change is never simple, but having a plan that outlines your steps and financial requirements makes it doable. Will your new career require additional education, a small business loan, time off from work or relocation? Make a plan with financial considerations and a realistic timeline that you can follow through on.