The Forgotten Part Of Networking

friends-at-work

Your network is your net worth.

The assumption is networking is done “externally,” but what if you actually like your job and don’t want to leave, yet desire to expand your network?

Do it internally.

Similar to sales: return customers have a greater value than new customers.

That means co-workers you connect with and strengthen bonds over time can be more instrumental to your career success than grabbing coffee with a new contact on LinkedIn.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m that guy who connects with people locally on LinkedIn and grabs coffee, but those relationships take time to blossom.

Meanwhile your work relationships have the potential to grow much faster because of the frequency and ease of scheduling.

Too often job satisfaction is determined by what happens to you, not what you initiate. Some opportunities are all about timing, but others are about choice.

Once you understand the company culture figure out how you can connect with people at work: grab lunch, go for a walk, chat on Slack, etc.

Most likely there are too many people at your company to talk with consistently, but that only makes the challenge fun.

  • Be the person who asks others how they are doing.
  • Instead of going on break alone take a friend.
  • Make it a goal to grab lunch with someone weekly.

At my company we’re fortunate to have catered lunches twice a week so that leaves three open days for me.

Some days I make phone calls and other times I need to decompress alone, but imagine how fulfilling your day is with a stimulating conversation!

As an introvert/situational extrovert I prefer quality over quantity…

Making networking part of your lifestyle versus a goal starts by doing it consistently.

The trick isn’t to keep “score” on how many people are in your network, but how often you network with others.

Make it a habit and watch your work fulfillment level skyrocket!

Don’t Hate the Process, Hate the Game

job-search

Looking for a new job sucks.

There are no shortcuts, but instead of running the rat race, embrace the game…but play by new rules.

Just like a healthy lifestyle requires exercise and nutrition, there’s no magic potion to improving your career.

The way job boards are created, it’s as if your odds winning the lottery might actually be better. Unfortunately applying online is part of the process, but one of the most passive tactics you can participate in.

Most digital applications have built-in filters that sift out specific keywords, lack of experience or required skill sets. It’s kind of like talking to a robot on customer support instead of an actual human. Very frustrating.

But since applying for jobs isn’t something that’s going away soon, what can you do to combat it? Here’s 3 proactive ways to increase your chances of getting hired:

1) Network. Use the internet and social media to find contacts, but once you do reach out to schedule a phone call or better yet, a meeting over coffee. Technology has widened the playing field, so you need to stand out by leaving an impression. The #1 reason people get hired is because of relationship. Know someone and now all of a sudden you’re on their radar.

2) Contact Recruiters via LinkedIn. One of the worst parts of applying to jobs is not knowing if your resume ever makes it to the destination. On LinkedIn, not only do companies have to pay to post a job, but they also have to list whom posted it. My advice is: apply to the job, then connect with the recruiter. Chances are they will accept your invitation to connect, then send them a note you applied and why you’re unique.

3) Be Creative. Record a video. Reach out on Twitter. Ask for an informational interview. This may sound too general, but since this is a “game” who says you have to play by the rules? Everyone applies for jobs online. Everyone attaches their resume. Everyone sends a cover letter. Don’t be like everyone else (unless you like where you are now). You may not be after a sales position, but landing a new job is all about selling yourself. A good question to ask is: “Would you hire yourself?

Most companies are built like a fortress. If you try to enter through the front gate you’ll be denied. Instead the “back door” strategies mentioned above are much more effective.

So create a new process…while you still hate the game.