Lord, do people do some strange things when they network. To make sure you’re not one of them, hop on over to US News and World Report today where I talk about the eight networking don’ts to build the best possible relationships for your career. Read it here and then share your best tips on networking.
You have the option to listen to this post:
I hate meeting people. I would prefer to be holed up in my apartment, lovingly arranged to every last detail purely to make me comfortable, than to present myself to the world. It’s not that I actually dislike people, but the whole process. The getting ready, the logistics, scheduling a time, finding a place – nevermind if you can’t meet me in my preferred five block radius. If it’s raining outside, I will cancel. If I have a blemish on my face, I will cancel. If you want to meet for no reason, I will cancel.
I get around three to four pitches a day from PR firms and they all suck. Some of them suck so badly I want to re-post them on my blog and make fun of them, but that’s not what I do here. Yet.
You don’t want to make their mistakes. Maybe you want your old boss to give you advice on your current job situation, or need a restaurant recommendation, or you want a blogger to write about reality TV star suicides. Whatever it is, here are four rules that apply:
1. Be personal.
Mass emails are interruptive advertising. They are the commercials I skip, the billboards I glaze over and the fliers that line the trash.
In what is arguably one of the worst times in American history since the Great Depression, the people of America have their chins decidedly up.
The sanguine mood is characterized by “an outbreak of niceness across the cultural landscape — an attitude bubbling up in commercials, movies and even, to a degree, the normally not-nice blogosphere,” the New York Times reports.
Harvard MBA students are making a promise to be ethical in an age of immorality, young talent is shifting towards do-gooder jobs, and more people are holding the elevator door open for me daily.
Enron and Madoff are no match for the almost hermetic happiness that now protects the Nation.
Consider getting an online Associate Business Degree to start building your business network and learn the basics of entrepreneurship.
Marketing jobs are all the rage despite the fact that marketing departments are one of the first to be cut in a recession. And I’ve always liked marketing, but I didn’t major it in college, and none of my experience has ever directly related to the topic. But my new job? It’s all about marketing.
Here’s how to transition into a field that you have no specific education or direct experience in:
1. Ignore your last job title. Titles don’t matter.
Last Friday, Monica O’Brien of Twenty Set wrote about how blog networks sucked and that there wasn’t any advantage to being part of one. I disagree and this post is my response.
Here are the four universal truths about blog and social networks, and how to use them to your advantage:
1. Network means it’s not just about you. Social media by definition is social and is thus a give and take world.Traffic will not magically be sent to your blog, nor will exposure magically occur.
Joining a network – whether that be a blog network like Brazen Careerist, a social network like Facebook or Twitter, or the professional network LinkedIn – doesn’t mean that all of sudden things will be easier for you.
Update: This post was also published at Damsels in Success.
Recently, more of my time is spent meeting with people who request to meet with me, instead of the other way around. Here’s some advice from being on the other side:
1) Give me a compelling reason to answer you. A lot of networking advice tells you to just check in with someone so that you’re on their mind.
But this sucks for busy people.
When you receive hundreds of emails a week, an email that “checks in” is like a nag draining you to do the dishes. That’s because while the email needs to be answered it becomes the lowest priority out of all the rest.
“Should I bring my scarf?” Sam Davidson of Cool People Care asked me. He had just arrived to Madison from Nashville to give a speech to my organization.
“Yes,” I replied.
“Should I bring my gloves?”
“Yes, bring everything warm that you have,” I said. Sam went up to his hotel room and came back with his scarf, his gloves and nothing else.
“Where’s your coat?” I demanded.
“This is my coat,” he said. I looked down at his suit jacket and back up at his face, confused.
“Okay,” I said finally. “Come on then.” I walked outside, a little worried how Sam and I were going to get along if he didn’t even understand the meaning of the words “Wisconsin” and “Winter” in the same sentence.
Last week, I scheduled a meeting with one of the top CEOs in Madison, Mr. Rich. Here’s how I did it and how you can too:
1. Make first contact. Meet Mr. Shaker at an event. Go up and introduce yourself. Yes, I know this is hard, especially when CEO #1 stands by CEO #2 and Celebrity #3. Must they cluster? Go and introduce yourself anyway. You are not a chicken. Go! You don’t have to have a lot to say. Just introduce yourself, set the stage for a meeting, and gracefully exit.
Another option is to send a letter.
At a conference this week, I introduced myself to two young men. I found out they were venture capitalists, and I began to tell them what I do when one of them cut me off. “We live in Chicago,” he said. Oh. Okay.
I shifted gears and jokingly repeated an observation that I had heard from another conference goer. “So, some people say you all are like pirates,” I said. Silence. I thought it was a joke. The dagger look told me otherwise. A sore topic, I guess. I had no idea.
We talked for quite a bit longer and came to the mutual understanding that venture capitalists are, in fact, not like pirates, and I realized that one of them was pretty good-looking.