Does the word “networking” give you a pit in your stomach or are you so busy that networking seems like a waste of time?
I’m sure at one time or another you were told you should network but you still might have been missing a little on the “why” it so important for your career path and the “how” networking really should be done.
I do see the scenario quite often where a professional cannot justify hanging out and socializing when there is so much work to be done. I have to admit, I see this most often with females. The concept of creating alliances seems to be more natural for men whereas the majority of women that I come across in the workforce seem to have the attitude that they are on their own. I truly believe that if women spent more time creating alliances, we would have more women in C-level positions.
The most successful people I know have attributed so much of their success to their network.
What is networking?
Networking is more than just “hanging out and socializing.” It is about making connections with people outside your daily routine…a different industry, different department or connecting with people who share a common interest…a profession, a cause.
What does it mean to “make a connection?”
Making a connection is not just swapping cards, especially in this job market. It is about listening and understanding what the person you’re talking to does and is looking to do and thinking of ways you could help that person through people you may know. Also, to make a connection you must make a positive impression by being sincere. It is also about staying connected. We are so lucky that we now have tools like LinkedIn to make this so much easier. If you don’t feel like you are getting the most out of LinkedIn, inquire about our upcoming workshop.
Yes, networking is about building alliances. To create these alliances, you have to enter into a networking situation with the attitude of helping and not the expectation of being helped. That is why there is so much danger in waiting until you are unemployed to start networking. It is sort of like the relative that only calls when he needs something or trying to get flood insurance in the middle of a hurricane.
If you are unemployed:
Networking is still very important to finding a job but you should still go into every networking situation with the attitude of wanting to help others as well. Also, at Dubin & Lee we are going to be holding some networking events with our local hiring companies and jobseekers, so get on the list for those invitations.
If you are working:
Don’t wait until you need a job to network. Start from now building strong alliances of professionals that……
- Know what you do
- Have a positive impression of you
- You have tried to help at one time or another
- View you as a subject matter expert in your profession
We have learned with this past economic environment, one can go from employed to unemployed with no warning in an instant.
Also, I have seen it time and time again that networking lands someone their ideal job even when they LEAST EXPECT IT!
If you feel you could use some hands on tactics for networking in person or on LinkedIn, get the workshop alert to find out when we have a workshop near you.
Posted by:Saundra LeeCEO, Dubin & Lee
Myth: LinkedIn is just for Job Seekers!
Granted, recruiters start on LinkedIn to find the talent they are looking for and usually stay there given the likelihood that they find what they are looking for but it is not just for headhunting and talent identification. LinkedIn is a massive tool for business development, professional credibility, professional networking, industry knowledge and updates as well as job seeking.
This tool is growing everyday to the tune of 160M+ members and over 100M unique visitors a month. Also, applications for tasks such as project management with remote teams, polls to attain market research and social media integration pop up frequently. I find it much more complex than Facebook but it is a business tool with a social media interface as opposed to just a social media platform.
SO HERE IS WHY YOU NEED LINKEDIN......
Just because you don’t need your network right now, does not mean you won’t need it later.
Waiting until you need a network to start working on one (like the out of work job seeker hopping from networking event to networking event in hopes of running into that perfect contact that will set them up with an interview) is like waiting until your teenager starts applying to colleges to start saving money for college tuition…..it’s too late.
Before LinkedIn, when we changed jobs, we could very easily lose touch with our best references. All that fantastic testimonial for your amazing work would be down the drain. Now, with LinkedIn, we never have to worry about that. Again, just because you don’t need that reference now, does not mean you won’t later.
The social media aspect of LinkedIn does allow you to be informed of the needs of those in your network to give you the opportunity to do a favor for someone else. Having done a favor for someone else, makes it that much easier to ask for one should you ever need it. Again, just because you don’t need the favor now, well…you know.
You may love your job, your company and your boss but unfortunately we don’t have control over those being around forever. As you ascend up to ladder of success to 100k roles and up, you will find that the job opportunities are fewer and farther in-between.
Think about this statistically…
What are the odds of finding the ideal opportunity when you need it or are not busy with your current job?
Those not conducting a job search or as we say “passive talent” have much better job opportunities open to them then active job seekers. What is wrong with being found?
Yes, LinkedIn is a very valuable business tool that you can use for your everyday business needs but sooner or later most people realize that, besides their skill set, their most valuable professional asset IS their network!
For more helpful career and job search advice and social media strategies, check out the Dubin & Lee Facebook page.
If you “like” it, you will get access to the, 6 page, “Getting Hired Guide” complete with video tutorials and advice from building the resume to the interview “thank you” note. Look for the “red carpet, welcome” icon.
Can going to networking events lead to getting a job?
Yes, but only if you do it right!
I see so many people that don’t believe that networking events can lead to a job so they don’t go or they go and get nothing from it so they feel it was a waste of time.
Here are 5 steps to help a networking event lead to a job:
1. Dress for the part. If you are unemployed, do not dress like it. Always look like you came right from the office to give the subliminal message of being “high hanging fruit.”
2. Walk in with the right frame of mind. If you feel desperate or downtrodden it will show so if you need an attitude adjustment before you go in, do so.
On the way there, repeat out loud (people will think you are singing with the radio or talking on the phone hands free) all the amazing skills and characteristics you bring to the table.
You laugh, but it works.
3. Listen first. Being successful at a networking event is dependent on your sincere desire to meet and talk to people. When you meet someone, make a point not to talk about any of your needs until you have fully listened to theirs and asked some really good questions about what they do or what they are looking to do.
4. Connect on LinkedIn. After the event, connect with that person on LinkedIn and cultivate the relationship. This does not mean immediately sending an email via LinkedIn to remind the person who you are. Being connected on LinkedIn will help you stay visible to that person. By doing quality updates such as comments on news and blogs in your industry as well as your own blog, it will situate you in that person’s mind as a subject matter expert and someone who is very much still “in the game.”
5. Give first, get later. This is the best way to cultivate a relationship on LinkedIn. Pay attention to the person’s updates and needs to try to help them; even if it is something as simple as forwarding an article.
Networking will become more and more crucial as you grow in your career. Even if you are not in a job search, start networking now, before you need to.
We at Dubin & Lee are willing to bribe you with the newest iPad for some networking.
Check out our iPad for a Referral promotion and learn how to get an iPad just for networking!
Posted by:Saundra LeePresident, Dubin & Lee
Are you happy with the direction in which your career is headed?
What are your career goals for 2012?
Could your career path use some new direction?
These are the types of questions that we ask ourselves this time of year. I took a look at the Best New Year Career Resolutions for 2011, and they are all very appropriate for 2012 with one big, new emphasis.
For 2012, most of what you are hoping to accomplish will have very distinct and detailed plans of attack, but the first step is usually the same for most objectives…
Reach out to my network!
- Hiring companies search their network first, so you should too! Over the last 3 years, I have observed that close to 70% of active job seekers who accepted a new job which paid over 130k found the job through a contact. Most of the time, a company will reach out to whom they know before they post the job or put the job out to a staffing agency.
- The process takes time. Refreshing an old relationship or developing a new one is a delicate and time intensive process. If you make the process all about your agenda and your immediate need, you will not see much benefit and you will not have much of a relationship. Nurturing a relationship built on trust and truly mutual benefit takes time; so that is why you need to get started now…before you are in dire need.
- Reach out just to reach out. This is especially rewarding with old relationships or people you were close to at one time, but have lost touch with just due to getting caught up in your day to day lives. When you reconnect and have a good conversation, you will be very happy you did and so will your long lost friend. You might even hang up the phone or leave the coffee shop and kick yourself for letting so much time go by. Now, don’t let it happen again!
- Be open. Be real and don’t try too hard to manage the impression. Just be you. Don’t be a negative whiner but openly talk about what type of things you are keeping your eyes peeled for as well as your goals. Do not be timid about asking your contact about what he or she would find beneficial.
- Help! Walk away from each meeting with at least one action item in mind to help the other person with his or her needs or desires. This works best if you don’t even mention it but just do it. I find these tasks renew my energy and enthusiasm. It is amazing how good it feels to get out of our own head for a while and do something strictly for someone else. This will naturally lead into follow up and staying in touch.
For the first time in 3 years, I took some time off in December to see family and friends that I have not been able to spend time with as my head has been buried in my business. Yes, I am kicking myself and my New Year’s Resolution is to keep these relationships alive as I am truly blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life.
I’m sure you are too! Call them now!!!!
Help yourself and an Accounting /Finance professional and reach out all at the same time by making a referral with our “iPad for a Referral” promotion that has just been extended through January.
Posted by:Saundra LeePresidentDubin & Lee
Next week I will put out another helpful article but this week I am making a big announcement. Given that I preach so much about networking, we at Dubin & Lee, have decided to put an iPad where our mouth is!
We have worked very hard over the last 3 years at building fantastic relationships with some of the best companies and we are very happy to see many of them make Boston Globe's "Best Places to Work" list this weekend. We have been engaged to help them find Corporate Accounting & Finance talent for a plethora of amazing opportunities so we are putting some bribes behind our networking efforts!
For every person that you refer us until Dec. 31st that we place with one of our clients in FY 2011 or FY 2012, we will give you an iPad2!
We believe that there is no greater compliment on our services than to allow us to network with your network.
Check out the details for our referral promotion and make a referral to get a free iPad!
Posted by:Saundra LeePresidentDubin & Lee
“I think you have to know someone at the company to get a job these days.” I hear that all the time and there is some truth to that in many instances.
Why is that? It does not mean that they are getting the best person for the job, so why is that the case?
Think of it this way, let’s say you are going to remodel your kitchen, which of the following would you do first?
- Post on a service website what you need with all of the detailed kitchen measurements and materials you wish to use.
- Surf the web on all of the service provider websites and read the reviews, specializations, locations and qualifications.
- Shoot an email to a friend who just did her kitchen and ask her who she used.
The keyword of the question is FIRST. You might end up doing A and B if C did not work out or even just to make sure your friends suggestion was, after all, the best choice.
For a company to fill a job it means time and money will be spent which is partially why they always reach out to their network first. Also, a recommendation goes a long way.
In a great job market, we don’t notice it as much because there are plenty jobs that don’t get filled via the networks of those at the company but in a tough job market, very few are left for the taking.
So what about all these job postings?
Some companies have a policy that a job must be posted for a period of time (30 days most of the time) before they can fill it. Also, as in the kitchen remodel example, sometimes the company just wants to be sure the person they are planning to hire is in fact the best choice compared to what is out there.
It does not have to be your best friend to get you in.
You might be tired of hearing me preach networking but this is precisely why networking is so important....
You may be talking with someone at a networking event or a coffee shop and the next day they are asked in an email to the department about who they might know for a particular job opening.
The reality is that more people are looking for opportunities to look good at work than to do a favor for a stranger they just met, hence the HUGE importance of making a favorable impression to everyone you meet! Even if your new contact does not know you that well, if you made a positive impression, they know you will make a positive impression on the hiring manager and therefore, make them look good.
It’s never too late! It’s time to be the person who got in because you knew someone.
Check out the upcoming networking events.
Posted by:Saundra LeePresident, Dubin & Lee
Is Your Job Search Networking Working?
In the last LinkedIn workshop I conducted, I asked the question, “What do you not like about networking?”
This is what I heard:
- It does not work!
- I give people my card but never talk to them again.
- I don’t know what to say to people to keep following up with them month after month.
- No immediate gratification.
Well, I heard more but you get the idea. Yes, networking can be exhausting and all for not if not done correctly.
Here are the 3 keys to networking that I see most people skip and the successful networkers do religiously!
1. Treat your everyday life as a networking event. Sure there are some great events to attend but you never know who you might run into at Starbucks. Especially at 3pm at the Starbucks right next to the company you have been targeting in your job search. Don’t wake up in the morning and put the “unemployed” clothes on to go about your day. Put the “working professional” clothes on.
Even if you are working, do not slip into a comfort zone of “well, I really like my job” because you never know what tomorrow brings and starting to network just when you ARE looking for a job is a big disadvantage. Get involved in committees in and out of your company to increase your visibility. Also, see You Can Do a Job Search without Quitting Your Job.
2. First impression magic!!! I know you have heard about the importance of a first impression but there is something magical about when we make a really good one. As a Headhunter, I am contacted by many people on the job market and I can tell right off when someone has let the stint of unemployment take a toll on their first impression. A magical first impression conveys an attitude of energy, enthusiasm and passion for the work they do. That type of thing sticks with people! Stay clear of all signs of depression, aggravation, discouragement, desperation and blame.
3. Give First. Get later! This is, by far, the most important and overlooked key to success in professional networking. In my workshops, when I ask participants how to build relationships once you make the contact, maybe, 1 out of 50 brings up this concept. WOW! This is a general life principle that, like most, can be a principle in professional success as well. Here are some “give first” actions.
- Build alliances by going out of your way to help others out.
- Look to see what others in your LinkedIn network are asking for and see if you can do a networking favor.
- When you meet someone, ask about their needs instead of going straight into your needs.
- Make your follow up about their need.
Most of the professionals I work with regarding career moves are Sr. Management and above making 100k+ and so many of them tell me,
“I wish I understood the importance of networking earlier in my career.”
For more networking and job search tools see our Facebook Page.
Register for the next LinkedIn workshop in Boston.
Posted by: Saundra Lee President Dubin & Lee
There are several reasons why 2011 is going to be the year things happen for your job search and /or career. The first of which, is making your mind up that it will. The economy seems to be on a slow and steady growth path depending on who you listen to and there is definitely an increase in job postings over the last week or two but that is not the deciding factor as to whether or not you’re career path hits the fast track this year.
The deciding factor is going to be whether you are going to do the same stuff you did last year waiting for the economy to turn around or you are going to try some new stuff.
NEW STUFF: These New Year career resolutions apply whether you are in a full blown job search, contemplating a career move or just stuck in a rut at your current job.
1. Dress for the job you want, not the one you have. Yes, this one is purely psychological but it works on yourself as well as people around you. It might even work better on yourself. When I dress in FULL business attire, my actions and thoughts tend to follow. Like what happenned to me, people around you will start to assume a higher level of capability and you will have more opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and the more you do that, the more success you will have.
Added benefit: If your current company does not take advantage of the all you have to offer and you decide to interview elsewhere, you are going to wish you dressed like you are going to an interview everyday so you won’t raise any red flags by your attire on the interview days or wishing you were Superman and wondering where all the phone booths went.
If you are not working, keep in mind you never know where you might run into your next opportunity (like a friend of mine did at a coffee shop) and looking the part for a first impression is equally important no matter where it happens. In other words, don’t walk around looking unemployed!
2. Create Allies! When we first start out on our career path, we are not aware the importance of EVERYONE as in building alliances. As we spend more time in the workforce, we see how important it is to have allies for career upward mobility. Look for ways to help people around you for no apparent reason. Why you ask? It will be apparent some day.
3. Search for Solutions. If you are working, instead of complaining about issues, take some extra time to come up with solutions. Whether or not they are implemented is not of most importance. You will gain a reputation of being someone with answers vs. problems. This technique can also be used in an interview.
4. Be a good corporate citizen. This took me the longest to understand. At first, I just wanted to do my work and go but there is a limit as to how far that sort of mindset will take you. Help out with company projects and join committees to increase your exposure, expand your skill set and help you out with resolution #2 & #3.
5. Outside networking. While this is probably the most fruitful of the resolutions it is the least practiced by most employed and unemployed and important for both. Networking can be uncomfortable and there is mostly no immediate gratification but it is the first step on building relationships we don’t have now and won’t have unless we step outside that comfort zone and gain a little more of a long-term plan for our career.
Dubin & Lee is making every attempt possible to create beneficial, fruitful networking events for jobseekers, professional & corporate recruiters looking for new avenues of talent acquisition and we have one coming up on January 20th as well as workshops and free webinars on our EVENTS PAGE.
Dubin & Lee