You Really Must Network Like this for Your Career
We have all heard it, “networking is essential for success.”
I talk about networking all the time with my clients. Heck, it brought me so many opportunities and successes that I can’t even imagine keeping my head down and ignoring this basic essential success tool.
As a matter of fact, networking is not a tool. It is life to a career. Like oxygen and blood, your body needs to live, networking is essential to the LIFE of your career.
SO many smart, hard-working, (potentials) put it off, don’t do it, shrug off the awkwardness,
“that’s only for sales people”, they say.
Today when we are so connected with social media and LinkedIn, it is even MORE important.
I gave my Kick Ass Workshop participants a challenge.
This week, call 3 people you haven’t spoken to in a while.
Call your old boss, an ex-colleague, someone from a competitor that you met at a conference last year. Think of three people, call them.
“Mo….can’t I just shoot off an email? I don’t want to bother them. Or a text? It seems so aggressive to call someone.” WHAT????
Pick up the phone, call some folks and be your awesome self.
Say hello. Tell them you were thinking of them.
Say, “You know what? I am working on bettering myself and I wanted to connect with you because I enjoyed our conversation last year, I enjoyed working with you and wondered how you are.”
My workshop clients were a bit shy, a bit unsure, wanting to take the easy way out. No, don’t wimp out on your career. Don’t wimp out on being the best person you can be. Show up for yourself. Make 3 calls.
One client of mine was nearing the end of her 12-week stay in my Kick Ass workshop. She was interviewing for the same level of position and not feeling very inspired. She took up the offer of reaching out. One of her calls was to an old boss who had moved on. They had just signed up a new client location and needed a new manager. They arranged a meeting that week with the boss and very quickly she was offered the new position. After that call, she made more money, got more vacation time and she was able to get out of a toxic work environment.
BAM! She just returned from one of her vacations already!
She made the phone call, even when she was feeling defeated and a bit shy.
Think about it from their perspective. What does it feel like to receive a call from an old friend? A person you worked with years ago reaches out to say hello.
It feels great! It feels wonderful to hear from someone. We are social beings by nature. Connect. Call 3 people for yourself and for them. Here’s a handy list to follow if you want details of the steps.
- Identify one person who is or was at a higher level than you, boss, someone in another department you used to know. Write their name and phone number on your action list.
- Identify one person who you enjoyed working with.
- Identify one person who you met through someone else or you don’t know that well. A conference attendee who you grab their card.
- Write down 3 questions to ask or to talk about on these calls. Examples are: What have you been up to since we last spoke? What is your biggest accomplishment this year? What are you hoping to do before the end of the year?
- Answer the above questions for you. Just in case they answer and say…AND YOU?
- Have a practiced response in case you get their voicemail. Don’t stammer and hem and haw. “Hey, Sally, it’s Mo, we worked together at Corporation XYZ. I was just thinking about that time we nailed that presentation for that client in Akron. I would love to catch up and see what’s new with you. Give me a call and let’s have a few laughs. Maybe we can help each other with something again. I’d love to connect. Talk soon. Mo.”
- Be firm, friendly, eager, curious, helpful and open.
- Expect a positive outcome before you pick up the phone. Imagining a great outcome and having fun before you do something keeps the motivation up and the procrastination down. Think about it. If you perceive pain and difficulty, you won’t do it.
- Have fun and enjoy your old friends.
- Do something for someone else that very same day you make the calls. You know, pay it forward. Extend yourself to someone at your work, on your commute or at the grocery store. When we take action to help others, we are likely to receive.
There is no better fuel for feeling great than connecting with others. It is interesting to find out what someone else is doing. Spread the good cheer and let that person know you are reaching out to 3 people and they were at the top of your list. They will likely say, “You know, I haven’t talked to so and so in a while, you have inspired me to reach out to them!”
Then, pat yourself on the back for taking action and for inspiring others!
Networking will super charge you, your career and you never know the magic that awaits you once you step out.
Don’t wait, each day of not in your dream job is more pain, less money.
Do this for you Now!