Why this resource? Emily Post is synonymous with good manners. Her descendants have continued to publish etiquette books more than 50 years after her death. The Emily Post Institute offers many free resources including articles, blogs, monthly newsletters, and a YouTube channel with a great playlist called Etiquette BitesTM. In addition to these free resources, there are low cost e-learning options for individuals and a bookstore. I recommend The Etiquette Advantage in Business, Third Edition: Personal Skills for Professional Success and Manners in the Digital World: Living Well Online.
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.
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.
A high level of customer awareness is critical in all situations. Here are some scenarios to avoid:
- Driving a Hertz rental car to a meeting with an Avis custom- er. (You might also want to hide your Kia in the parking lot, if your meeting is with Ford.)
- Ordering a Pepsi for lunch with a client from Coca-Cola. (Although, it’s likely that the Coca-Cola people wouldn’t eat lunch in a restaurant that served Pepsi.)
- Sending a FedEx package to your customers at UPS.
- Wearing a Burberry scarf to a presentation at L.L. Bean.
While it may seem implausible, these scenarios happen often, especially to new professionals who haven’t yet developed their customer awareness.
From Chapter 6: Sales and Negotiation Skills
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.
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.
Why read this book? Ranked a top seller by the New York Times, Washington Post and e Wall Street Journal, To Sell is Human explains sales 108 in a way that applies to everyone—in every field. Pink, the author of Drive and A Whole New Mind, is an exceptional writer and lays out a convincing argument as to why “moving others” is a critically important skill in your career and your life.
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.
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/
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.
Why read this book? This best-selling book about punctuation entertains while it educates. The English language is complex and punctuation can intentionally (or unintentionally) add meaning to a word. Consider the book’s title, “Eats, Shoots & Leaves” or an alternative “Eats Shoots & Leaves”—not a subtle difference. Punctuation is too easy to get right. You don’t want a mistake here.
About Jeff Chapski
Jeff Chapski has coached and mentored hundreds of college students and recent graduates as they started their first jobs and launched their careers. Recalling the important skills and lessons he learned early in his own career, Jeff started writing a blog at Career-ology.com to help new professionals succeed at work. Read more...