Tag: professional development


How To Make A Net – Work!

Many job seekers are confused about networking, and therefore doubt its effectiveness. Networking is the art of building and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships. So, like anything else, networking requires a bit of practice and finesse, but if done correctly, networking can be an invaluable part of your job search campaign.

Here are a few tips that can help develop a network that works for you:

Be Patient

Networking doesn’t happen overnight; it’s a process.  Networking is not just something you can check off your job search list like “Send resume to Pfizer”.

While people may want to help you, they might not be able to do so right away.Quite simply, you may not be the first item on their agenda. So, if someone agrees to meet with you but can’t do so immediately, accept their offer graciously and patiently.  Never let an opportunity to meet with someone during the course of networking slip away. Always be open to meeting!

Be Authentic and Kind

When you do meet with someone resulting from your scheduling attempts, take a sincere interest in their life, not just the information or possible assistance they can offer you. Don’t push people for their knowledge or connections and then abandon the relationship. Networking means fostering relationships. This objective cannot be achieved by one person constantly taking while the other person constantly gives information or time.  Relationships are built on trust and sharing over time.

Remember, one day you might be in a reverse career position; so be considerate and respectful to all you meet. Find ways to periodically reconnect with the contacts in your network to stay up to date on their lives,and let them know that you genuinely care about what is going on with them.  Also, connecting and re-connecting, take the time to let them know that their advice and counsel was heard and put to good use. Acknowledging their individual value to you and to your career.  Reinforcement of the time and advice offered by those in your network will foster gratefulness, awareness of their value to you and encourage them to continue helping you and others.

Be a Conduit

Remember, the objective of networking isÖwellÖmore networking. You should be constantly adding people to your list of contacts. Always find more contacts to meet and, in turn, become a great connector yourself! Open up your network to others. Hopefully they’ll follow suit and do the same for you, keeping the cycle going. Think about those contacts who could help others in your network,then introduce them!

Be a Teacher

Keep in mind that not everyone you meet will understand what networking is or how they can help you. Many people think that the best way they can help you as a job seeker is to take your resume and pass it along to their human resources department. While their intentions are noble, their strategy won’t help you and could actually wind up being counter-productive and consequently,losing you a great job.

HR managers, like recruiters, are sometimes only motivated to take action on your resume if there is a current job opening within the organization that matches your skills. If a position is not available, they have no incentive to contact you and the connection is lost.

Rather than giving your contacts a resume, ask them if they could introduce you to a member of their company so that you can learn more about their position, industry, and organization. This way, you’ll learn more about the company, share information about yourself, and begin to build a relationship rather than ending up as just another resume lost at the bottom of the pile.

Be a Helper

Networking is all about reciprocity. No matter who you’re dealing with, you should always try to give more than you receive. For example, if you have information about a particular company, industry, or educational program that would be valuable to someone in your network, share it.  By sharing you will help others and in turn, others will help you.

Whether you’re currently employed or job seeking is irrelevant – networking is a constant process. Obviously, you’ll be more on the receiving end of your contacts’ information when you’re on the look out for a new job. But that just means you need to work that much harder at giving information and sharing your network while happily employed.

If you’re constantly looking for ways to help people in your network achieve their goals, they’ll be much more likely to help you in return.


More info’s and free registrations (restricted to  pros), please join our live seminar



How to Get the Most out of Your Next Conference

Success in your career depends upon how well you manage your professional development. A prime source of this development comes from being a member of a professional association that relates to your career. As a member, you can attend conferences where you advance your skills and meet people who can help you.

Some people, however, treat conferences as a paid vacation. They party, they skip sessions, and they return home with little more than a stack of receipts. That costs them (or their business) money and contributes nothing to professional growth.

Hereís how to get the most out of your next conference.

1) Start With a Plan

First, make a list of your goals for attending the conference. For example, this could include the information that you want to gain, the relationships that you want to deepen, the people you want to meet, and the things that you want to buy. Also, make a list of questions that you want to have answered while youíre at the conference. This list will help you focus on your personal agenda during the conference and will maximize your chances of returning with something of value.

Then, scan through the program to select those sessions that will help you the most. These could be on topics that teach skills leading to a promotion, help open new opportunities at work, or answer important questions about your career. If many valuable sessions are scheduled at the same time, then select your first and second choices. You may find that one of the sessions has been canceled or filled (sold out).

Highlight your top priority sessions so you can sign up or arrive early. These sessions generally have such great value that they justify attending the conference, and you want to make sure that youíre there when they start.

If your boss must approve attending a conference, use your plan to justify your request. Be sure to include explanations of how the information, relationships, and participation at the conference will enhance your value to your company. Wise leaders always support someone who relates a request to the benefits that come from it.

2) Work the Plan

While at the conference keep your list of goals and questions in mind. Begin each day by checking your list and identifying those goals that you can achieve during that day. For example, some sessions may provide information that answers some of your questions.

At the end of the day review your list and check off those goals that you accomplished. If you discover new opportunities, then add them to your list of goals. And if you find yourself stuck on reaching a goal, seek out a senior member whom you can ask for advice on how to achieve it.

3) Meet People

Often the greatest benefit of attending a conference will be the relationships that you start while there. These relationships can become sources of information, friendship, and job opportunities.

Thus, make it a point to meet new people. Instead of spending all of your time with friends or colleagues, go off on your own. Join other people for meals. Sit next to them during the sessions. Start conversations while walking between sessions. And be sure to ask for a business card. Then you can add that personís contact information into your contact database.

I encourage you to introduce yourself to the speakers. They were invited to speak at the conference because of their expertise in your profession. Thus, they can become valuable resources for information, assistance, and referrals. The best time to meet speakers is right after they finish their presentation. Introduce yourself, offer a brief compliment on the presentation, and ask for a business card. Of course, if you meet them again at the conference, use this as an opportunity to talk further.

4) Apply What You Gained

When you return home, set aside an hour or so to review the notes that you took while at the conference. You may want to schedule this on your calendar before you leave for the conference.

Review your notes, identifying the main ideas. Then convert each of these ideas into an action on your list of things to do. Once you finish the list add a completion date and assign a priority. Recognize that this step converts everything that you learned, collected, and gained during the conference into tangible benefits for yourself and your company.

If you are an employee, I recommend writing a report for your management. Document the key ideas that you gained and describe how they can be applied to your work. If youíre an independent, you may still want to write such a report for yourself because this formalizes what you gained from the conference.

5) Be Grateful

When you return home, write thank you notes to the people who helped you at the conference. This simple courtesy sets you apart as an exceptional person. I especially recommend writing notes to:

1) The leaders in the association. They worked hard to organize the event.
2) Members of the staff who helped you. These people can help you get the most out of your membership.
3) The speakers. This could start relationships with experts and celebrities in your profession.
4) New friends. This makes you memorable when you meet again at the next conference.

Use a conference to immerse yourself in the society and the technology of your profession. And then apply what you gained to advance your career.

More info’s and free registrations (restricted to  pros), please join our live seminar