Step 1 - Have a Networking Plan! (08/14/2015)
With unemployment numbers at the lowest level since the great recession, I've been working with clients on opposite ends of the employment seesaw; those who are in transition due to a restructuring or downsizing and those who are actively seeking new opportunity in a revived workforce economy. While the specific challenges facing these two groups are fundamentally different, each will need the ability to leverage a professional network. In my opinion, it's the most critical component of your plan to move forward.
Take your networking skills to the next level by starting with a view of your current reality. Make a list of those with whom you have business relationships that will be helpful to you as you progress. Then establish contact: e-mail is an easy way to reach out and provide a record of your networking activity.
When looking for a new position let your network know what you are up to. Your might want to let them know of your prospects and ask for a reference. This will help to restore or establish a productive dialog with those who know you and your work. Keep your messages brief and to the point. Position yourself positively by sounding upbeat.
If you have survived a major layoff or restructuring " in place", take stock of your new reality and that of your established network. Get the lay of the land and get in touch with those who will help you reposition yourself and provide sound advice in terms of what comes next. Remember, it's aways good to think about your part in the changing landscape and your contribution today and going forward. Craft a paragraph or two on your value proposition and share as you connect or reconnect with your network. Follow the rhythm of the conversation and listen as much as talk. You may find a valuable mentor - an added benefit!
The takeaway here is not to go it alone. Take stock of your network and use it to stay in touch, get useful feedback and suggestions and to stay abreast of what's happening. If you don't have a network, take the time to develop one and do it now. Focus on who you'd like to meet, develop your introduction and make appointments to meet with those you have selected. Make sure that you learn about potential members of your network or potential mentors so that you may establish rapport. Having a viable network will pay dividends today and in the future.
RLA will work with you to:
- design a networking plan that will increase your extended team of resources,
- focus on the acquisition of mentors who will provide the most benefit in the context of your career goals
- develop key messages and your value proposition, and
- leverage your network to learn of career opportunities and to be successful.
Additionally, my business coaching services can help you identify and define your career goals and create action plans to make those goals a reality. Contact Beth for more information.
Enjoy the rest of August. The summer is just flying by, however, I do love the transition to Fall so I'll just go with it! Take care. I'll talk to you next month.