THE GOLDEN RULE OF NETWORKING

All professional relationships require care and tending. Like a farmer who tends his field, the effective networker should not expect immediate results. Good networking cannot be rushed. Here are some additional points to remember while building your professional network:

  • Relationships are fragile and take years to build, but only seconds to destroy. Be mindful of the delicate nature of relationships.
  • Do for others as you would like others to do for you.
  • If you attend a networking event for the first time and are desperate to find a job, your desperation will make building a relationship dif cult.
  • Don’t expect to take from a group before you have first contributed.
  • Other people at a networking event may feel a sense of anxiety. Be the first to smile, shake someone’s hand and introduce yourself.

Reading List – Managing Brand You: Seven Steps to Creating Your Most Successful Self By Jerry S. Wilson and Ira Blumenthal

Why read this book? The seven steps in this book provide a roadmap for creating “Brand YOU” by employing the same concepts used in traditional commercial brand management such as brand attributes, brand essence, brand image, and brand insistence. Step one includes a brand audit to assess your current state and the book concludes with step seven, a detailed action plan to implement your Brand YOU. The authors have worked with some of the best brands on the planet including Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, Delta Airlines, and Marriott.

What is organizational awareness?

Every company has two organizational structures: the formal one is written on the charts; the other is the everyday relationship of the men and women in the organization. -HAROLD S. GREEN

Organizational awareness is the understanding of your organization from top to bottom and from inside to out. It enables you to understand how you and your role relate to the larger organization and industry in which you work. It also includes the way in which your organization relates to the global economy. Understanding your organization will help you navigate your career.

Organizational awareness includes the culture, politics, and the written and unwritten rules that shape your day-to-day work and your long-term professional aspirations. Knowing your organization includes knowing the players—your colleagues. You also should understand the external forces that impact your organization and everyone in it—competitors, industry trends, government policies, economics, and other global dynamics.

It is important to note that the term “organizational awareness” has a variety of meanings depending on the context. In Career-ology, the focus is on your awareness and understanding of your role in relation to your team, organization, industry/sector, the larger economy/marketplace/country, and the world.

What is the secret to making networking fun?

Do you dread networking? Does the thought of it make you anxious or uncomfortable?

Do you want to know the one secret to making networking fun? Here it is:  Approach networking with an attitude of giving. Focus on how you can help other people.

Everyone has something of value to share. No matter their age, experience level, or current employment status, everyone has something to o er in a networking situation. You have former college classmates, current friends, and neighbors who work in a variety of industries and organizations. Perhaps someone in your network is an entrepreneur, went to graduate school, or worked overseas. I know that at some point in your life, you’ve visited a doctor, eaten in a restaurant, taken a vacation, or volunteered your time with a not-for-pro t or political organization.

These are just a few of the resources that you bring to any net- working situation. And none of these resources depend on your age, seniority, or ability to hire. Everyone has something to bring to a networking situation.

Several years ago, I met a recent graduate at a networking event. At the time, I was almost 20 years older than he. We talked about his interests and my previous experience in the financial services industry—one of the few things we shared in common, at least on the surface. As the conversation progressed and he asked me about my current professional interests, we discovered that I was in the same business as his father and he made an introduction as a follow-up to our meet- ing. Neither of us could have anticipated this when we met.

Everyone has something to offer in a networking situation— no matter the difference in age or experience.

Reading List: Eat at Frog

Eat That Frog

by Brian Tracy

Why read this book? Written by the international best-selling author and leader in professional development, Eat at Frog will help you jump- start your professional development (or any other task in your work) with twenty-one proven methods and techniques. These methods are integral to accelerating your career: #7 Focus on Key Result Areas, #10 Take It One Oil Barrel at a Time, #11 Upgrade Your Skills, #13 Identify Your Key Constraints, #21 Single Hand Every Task.

TOASTMASTERS INTERNATIONAL (TM)

When it comes to mastering public speaking, there is no greater resource than Toastmasters International. Toastmasters International offers its members a venue for practicing communication and leadership skills.

Clubs meet regularly and members fulfill different roles at each meeting. There is a proven curriculum of increasingly more challenging topics, techniques, and formats. Fellow club members evaluate speeches for each other. They also give support and encouragement to speakers of all abilities. Toastmasters In- ternational has grown to 14,650 clubs in 126 countries since its founding in 1924.

I encourage you to join Toastmasters. Each club has its own personality, so visit several clubs to nd the one that best suits you. Visit the Toastmasters International website to nd a club near you. https://www.toastmasters.org/

Why Networking is Important in Your Career

Like any good investment, the hours you put into active networking will pay o well in your future and the bene ts are likely to multiply over time. Some of the many bene ts that may be ex- changed among people in your professional network include:

  • Job opportunities
  • Professional recommendations
  • New customers, clients, investors, advisors
  • New business partners
  • Joint-venture opportunities
  • Recommendations for professional services such as accountants, lawyers, graphic artists, or web developers
  • News, trends, and important events in your industry or business community
  • Referrals to other people who you may want to join your network
  • Recommendations for personal service providers such as doctors, restaurants, vacation spots, and more.

You’ll notice that I said above, “the many benefits that may be exchanged among people.” I didn’t say, “the many bene ts that you may receive.” A professional network always involves give and take. And give usually comes first.

Developing Your Professional Relationships: The Key to Your Professional Success

Developing your own professional network will lead to more success than almost anything else you do in your career.

Developing relationships with people who want to and are able to help you is a worthwhile investment of your time and resources. These are the people who will help when you need it most. is is a long-term investment of your time in building relationships with other people. Your professional network will be developed and maintained over your entire career.

Your professional network will be developed and maintained over your entire career. Actively participate in your network and help others, as you would like others to help you. Maintain these business relationships in good times and bad—while you are fully employed, unemployed, or in between. A strong professional network is as valuable to a  first-year employee as it is to the CEO. It is as important to someone working in a tech start-up in Silicon Valley as it is to the person teaching elementary school. Developing your own professional network will lead to more success than almost anything else you do in your career. It is the key to your professional success.

NAME TAGS DON’T DESERVE MUCH THOUGHT, RIGHT? WRONG!

At a networking event, you will meet people for the first time and you want to give them the maximum opportunity to remember your name. Attach your nametag very high on your right lapel. Do this because you are usually extending your right hand to shake, so that side of your body will also be slightly extended forward. This makes it easier for the person to read your nametag without having to look across your body.

LinkedIn Official Blog

There is no better source of information about the most important professional networking platform in the world than the LinkedIn Official Blog. If you want to learn more about LinkedIn, go right to the source. There are hundreds of blog posts arranged by topic and searchable by keyword.